With a chance to knock the St. Louis Cardinals down a notch in the National League playoff race, the Chicago Cubs came up on the wrong side of a loss on Sunday to conclude the series, 6-3.
Cubs starter Justin Germano was shelled for four runs on 10 hits before being pulled from the mound in the sixth inning, and now falls to a meager 2-9 on the season. Despite watching his team suffer through its 94th loss of the year, Chicago outfielder Alfonso Soriano at the very least continued his strong month of September with a 3-for-4 performance that included his 31st home run of the season.
Soriano also managed to push his season tally to 105 RBI, marking just the third time in his career where he's eclipsed the 100-RBI plateau. The All-Star slugger has already belted six home runs with 22 RBI in September alone, and continues to defy critics who claimed that his skills were in rapid decline.
Only nine games remain on Chicago's 2012 schedule, as the Cubs will next hit the field to face the Colorado Rockies on Tuesday to open up a three-game set from Coors Field. Young left-hander Chris Rusin will take the mound for manager Dale Sveum in Game 1 looking for his second career victory.
Be sure to visit Bleed Cubbie Blue for more Cubs coverage, and check out Viva El Birdos for more on the Cardinals. Also head over to Baseball Nation for even more news and analysis from around the league.