The Cardinals squared off with the Cubs in the first of four on Friday.  The Cardinals started the day 2 ½ games out of first and 2 behind the Cubs. 

After scoring 40 runs in the last four games, runs were at a premium this afternoon.  Albert Pujols got the Cardinals on the board first in the top of the 6 th with a two out solo home run, his 26 th of the year.  Braden Looper who was brillant through the first five innings gave up a two run homer to Jacque Jones in the bottom of the 6 th .  Pujols came up with runners and 1 st and 2 nd and two out in the 8 th , but popped to 2 nd to end the inning.  Cardinals go quietly in the 9 th and lose 2-1.  Cubs tied for first with the Brewers who play tonight.