Cubs' Comeback From 8-0 Deficit Falls One Run Short

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Cubs Score Seven Combined Runs In Fifth, Sixth, And Seventh, But Lose

Chicago, IL (Sports Network) – Albert Pujols slugged his National League- leading 42nd homer of the season, a three-run blast, and the Cardinals held off the Chicago Cubs, 8-7, after nearly blowing an eight-run lead.

Matt Pagnozzi had two hits and three RBI for St. Louis, which has won three of its last four games. Allen Craig had three hits with an RBI and scored once for the Cardinals.

Jake Westbrook (3-4) allowed five hits and five runs — three earned — over 5 1/3 innings, as the Cardinals stayed mathematically alive in the playoff race. However, Cincinnati’s magic number to win the NL Central is one.

Jeff Samardzija (2-2) allowed seven hits and eight runs over 4 1/3 innings. He walked seven batters.

Brad Snyder had a pinch-hit, two-run single in the fifth inning and Kosuke Fukudome knocked in two runs for Chicago, which lost for the third time in four contests.

Xavier Nady singled in a run and scored on Fukudome’s sacrifice fly to get the Cubs within a run in the seventh inning, but Mitchell Boggs came in and escaped a jam. He fanned Alfonso Soriano, who went to first on a wild pitch. Bobby Scales walked, but Welington Castillo fanned to end the inning.

The Cubs put two runners on base the next inning, but Ryan Franklin retired Nady on a fly ball to right field to cap the frame.

Franklin retired the side in order in the ninth for his 26th save.

After Pujols homered to left field in the first inning, the Cardinals tacked on another run later in the frame on Pagnozzi’s single to center.

Brendan Ryan singled in a run in the fifth and Pagnozzi followed with a two- run double. Craig capped the four-run outburst in the inning with an RBI single.

Westbrook didn’t give up his first hit until the fifth and the Cubs pulled within 8-5 in the sixth. Fukudome doubled in a run, Nady scored on a fielder’s choice from Castillo and Scales came home on a single from pinch-hitter Micah Hoffpauir.

Chicago won the season series, 9-6…The Cubs finished the season 35-46 at Wrigley Field…The Cardinals left 14 men on base compared to nine for Chicago.

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Cubs Face Cardinals Sunday In 2010 Home Finale

(Sports Network) - Veteran right-hander Jake Westbrook makes his second career start against the Chicago Cubs when the St. Louis Cardinals head to Wrigley Field today for the finale of a three-game weekend series.

Acquired from Cleveland at the trade deadline in late July, the soon-to-be 33- year-old was expected to help the Cardinals make a run at a National League Central title. Instead, he's won just twice in 10 starts as St. Louis has plummeted to the brink of playoff elimination.

The Cardinals dropped a 7-3 decision in Saturday's second game to remain six games behind the first-place Cincinnati Reds, who lost, 4-3, at San Diego. The Reds' magic number entering today is two, meaning any combination of two Cincinnati wins or St. Louis losses will end the race.

Aramis Ramirez, Blake DeWitt and Sam Fuld each had two hits, two runs batted in and scored a run for Chicago.

Casey Coleman (3-2) allowed three runs -- two earned -- on five hits and a pair of walks while fanning four over seven solid frames to earn the victory for the Cubs, who lead the season series, 9-5.

Chris Carpenter (15-9) suffered the loss after yielding five runs on seven hits and four walks with only one strikeout over four frames in his second- shortest start of the year for the Cardinals, who have lost four of their last six.

Westbrook, who won double-digit games with the Indians three straight times between 2004 and 2006, was limited by injuries to just seven wins in 2007-08 and did not pitch in the majors last season.

He was 6-7 with Cleveland in 21 starts before the deal and has allowed 61 hits and 26 runs in 62 innings with the Cardinals.

Westbrook beat the Cubs, 6-3, for his first win with St. Louis on Aug. 13, allowing six hits and two runs with no walks and a strikeout over six innings.

On the mound for Chicago is third-year right-hander Jeff Samardzija, a former Notre Dame football standout who's picked up wins in two straight starts.

The 25-year-old Indiana native was 0-1 with an 18.90 earned run average in four relief appearances in April, then returned from the minor leagues in September and has since allowed nine hits and three runs in 11 2/3 innings while beating St. Louis and Florida.

In the Sept. 13 matchup with the Cardinals, the 6-foot-5, 225-pounder pitched 5 2/3 scoreless innings and allowed six hits and four walks while walking one.

This is his initial start of 2010 at Wrigley Field.

The Cardinals have lost nine of 14 matchups with the Cubs this year.

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