Chicago, IL (Sports Network) – Aramis Ramirez, Blake DeWitt and Sam Fuld each had two hits, two runs batted in and scored a run in Chicago’s 7-3 victory over St. Louis in the middle meeting of a three-game set.
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.
The Cardinals faint playoff hopes took a blow, as they fell to seven games behind front-running Cincinnati in the NL Central and 7 1/2 games behind wild card leaders San Diego, who are in action this afternoon against the Reds.
Carlos Marmol opened the ninth on the hill protecting the four-run lead and hit Brendan Ryan and walked Bryan Anderson with one out. The right-hander then battled back to strike out pinch-hitter Mark Hamilton and Skip Schumaker to end the game.
The Cardinals scored early on Saturday just as they did on Friday but ultimately could not hang on to a three-run lead.
Daniel Descalso singled with one out in the second, moved to third on a Ryan base hit and scored the game’s first run on Anderson’s sacrifice fly.
Jon Jay singled with one out in the third and scored when Albert Pujols doubled to left to make it 2-0. Ramirez then committed a throwing error on a Matt Holliday ground ball that allowed Pujols to score to extend the lead to three.
The Cubs answered in their half of the inning with four runs, all with two outs, to take the lead.
Ramirez singled home DeWitt with the first run before an Anderson throwing error allowed Kosuke Fukudome to score. The Cardinals then walked Alfonso Soriano to load the bases and Fuld spoiled the strategy with a two-run single to center to give the hosts the lead for good.
The Cubs pushed their lead to 5-3 in the fourth when Ramirez singled home Starlin Castro with two outs.
Blake Hawksworth started the fifth on the hill for the Redbirds and gave up a two-out, two-run triple to DeWitt that made it a 7-3 contest.
Carpenter made his major league-leading 34th start of the season…He fell to 1-3 in five starts against the Cubs this season and 10-6 in 22 career starts against them…Holliday lost a 16-game hitting streak, which was one shy of his career-high set in August, 2007…Chicago improved to 19-10 under manager Mike Quade…The Cubs drew 39,316 to Saturday’s game to surpass the 3,000,000 mark in attendance for the seventh straight season…They are one of only five big league clubs to eclipse that mark each season since 2004.