It was a game of missed opportunities for both the Cubs and Cardinals as the Cubs hold on for a 4-2 win.
Mark Mulder making his third start of the season, escaped after giving up doubles in the first and second innings, but ran into trouble in the third after giving up a double to Cubs left fielder Alfonso Soriano. With two outs and Soriano on third, Mulder walked Aramis Ramirez with first base open to face Matt Murton. With two strikes on Murton, he hit a line drive three run homer to left. Center fielder Craig Monroe followed with a ground rule double, catcher Geovany Soto reached on a infield single, and shortstop Ronnie Cedeno singled up the middle to make it 4-0. Mulder would retire pitcher Jason Marquis to end the inning and his day with three innings pitched, seven hits, four earned runs, three walks and one home run.
Kelvin Jimenez came on in relief in the fourth. Following Soriano’s second double, a walk and base hit to load the bases with nobody out, Jimenez got Ramirez to ground into a fielder’s choice, short to home. Murton with one out and bases loaded grounded into a 6-4-3 double play and Jimenez got out of a jam. Jimenez pitched two innings and despite giving up four hits and a walk, kept the Cubs off the board.
Jason Marquis facing his former teammates for the fourth time this season, went 6 1/3 innings giving up one earned run on five hits, while walking two and striking out four. . Marquis had serious trouble in the 6 th . Aaron Miles and Rick Ankiel led off with singles to start the sixth. Albert Pujols flied to left, after nearly going deep on a foul to left. Jim Edmonds struck out looking, and Ryan Ludwick walked to prompt Cubs manager Lou Piniella out to have a chat with Marquis. Scott Spiezio then grounded to second and the Cardinals could not take advantage of their first big opportunity of the game.
Carlos Marmol came on in relief of Marquis after a one out double to Miguel Cairo in the seventh. Marmol threw a wild pitch moving Cairo to third, then gave up a single to Skip Schumaker scoring Cairo. Aaron Miles struck out, Rick Ankiel and Albert Pujols walked to load the bases. Bob Howry came on in relief to face Jim Edmonds and got him to pop up to first.
Skip Schumaker delivered his second RBI of the game with a single in the 8 th with two outs off of Bob Howry as his hard hit grounder scooted past the shortstop to cut the lead to 4-2.
Ryan Dempster came on in the ninth. After getting Ankiel to ground out, Pujols singled up the middle. So Taguchi grounded into a 6-4-3 double play to end the game.
The Cubs left plenty of runs on the bases stranding 14 for the game. The Cardinals left 12 runners on base, with leaving the bases loaded in sixth and seventh innings.
Mulder 0-3 with a 12.27 ERA in his three starts this month. Marquis wins for second time against the Cardinals as the Cubs win the season series 11-5 and drop the Cardinals back to seven games out of first.