St. Louis, MO (Sports Network) – Jeff Samardzija, making his third career start, pitched shutout ball into the sixth inning and singled in a run, helping the Cubs to a 5-1 win over St. Louis, sending the Cardinals further behind in the NL Central.
In his first start of 2010, Samardzija (1-1), a former baseball and football standout at Notre Dame, allowed six hits, walked four batters and fanned one over 5 2/3 frames.
Alfonso Soriano knocked in two runs for Chicago, which won for the third time in four games.
With their fifth defeat in seven contests, St. Louis fell seven games behind division-leading Cincinnati.
Jaime Garcia (13-8) lost his second straight start after giving up seven hits and four runs — two earned — over six frames.