St. Louis, MO (Sports Network) - Marlon Byrd capped a six-run fourth inning with an RBI single, as the Chicago Cubs held off the St. Louis Cardinals, 9-7, in the rubber match of a three-game series at Busch Stadium.
Derrek Lee hit a pair of solo homers for the Cubs, who won back-to-back contests for the first time since beating the Cardinals at Wrigley Field on July 23 and 24. The first baseman hit a homer in every game of this series.
Koyie Hill hit a two-run double for Chicago, which got an RBI apiece from Kosuke Fukudome, Aramis Ramirez, and Ryan Dempster.
Dempster (11-8) went 6 2/3 innings, allowing two runs on five hits. He also struck out six and walked two to improve to 7-7 over 44 career appearances (18 starts) against St. Louis.
Albert Pujols and Steven Hill each hit solo homers for the Cardinals, who now trail the Reds by one game in the NL Central after Cincinnati beat Florida on Sunday.
Kyle Lohse (1-5), pitching for the first time since May 22, got rocked in three-plus innings, giving up seven runs on six hits. The right-hander had been on the 60-day disabled list due to forearm surgery.
Trailing 9-2, St. Louis attempted to come back in the home ninth. Hill led off the frame by hitting a homer during his second MLB at-bat. Nick Stavinoha singled, Aaron Miles singled, and Brendan Ryan walked to load the bases.
James Russell took over on the hill for Marcos Mateo. After striking out Skip Schumaker, Russell walked Jon Jay to force in a run. That brought Carlos Marmol in from the bullpen. Pinch-hitter Felipe Lopez hit a two-run single before Randy Winn walked to load the bases. Allen Craig plated a run when he grounded out to make it 9-7. Hill, though, grounded out to give Marmol his 21st save of the season.
The Cubs went ahead 1-0 in the top of the first on Lee's two-out homer to center. Pujols, though, tied the contest in the home first with a blast over the wall in right-center.
Lee cleared the center-field wall again in the third to give Chicago a 2-1 lead.
A six-run fourth made it 8-1 Cubs. Byrd singled, Xavier Nady singled, and Blake DeWitt walked to load the bases with nobody out. Hill followed with a two-run double to right-center field. Dempster then hit an RBI single, chasing Lohse from the game.
Mike MacDougal took over on the mound and Fukudome greeted him with a run- scoring double. A wild pitch plated Dempster. Byrd added an RBI base hit later in the frame.
Schumaker's RBI single in the fifth cut the gap to six. The Cubs, though, got the run back in the ninth on Ramirez's run-scoring single.
Despite the loss, the Cardinals are 8-4 against the Cubs at Busch Stadium since the start of the 2009 campaign...Lee left the game in the fifth inning with lower back stiffness...St. Louis optioned pitcher Fernando Salas to Triple-A Memphis...Pujols has homered in seven of his last 13 games...The Cubs ended a seven-game road trip with a 3-4 mark...Chicago is a woeful 4-14 since July 27...Lohse fell to 1-4 lifetime against the Cubs.