The Cardinals lead in the National League Central is up to nine games after topping the Cubs 5-4. The recent Cardinals-Cubs tradition of clearing the benches continued on Tuesday night. In the first inning, Cubs starter Carlos Zambrano hit Cardinals center fielder Jim Edmonds with a pitch to load the bases. Zambrano got of the jam and Edmonds remembered the beaning. In the fourth, Edmonds retaliated with a two run homer, his 22nd, to give St. Louis a 2-0 lead. Zambrano yelled at Edmonds as he ran to first base and Cubs catcher Michael Barrett got into a shouting match with someone in the Cardinals’ dug out. Both dugouts emptied but no punches were thrown. But the fun between Edmonds and Zambrano didn’t end there. In the eighth inning Scott Rolen blasted a two-run homer to break a 3-3 tie. Edmonds, who was the next batter, was hit on the first pitch. Zambrano was immediately ejected from the game. Rolen’s homer was his 20th of the year and he increased his major-league leading RBI total to 86. Chris Carpenter allowed 12 hits, but surrendered just four runs to improve to 10-4 on the season. Jason Isringhausen allowed a walk in the ninth inning, but hung on to record his 23rd save.
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