Cardinals beat Cubs
St. Louis, MO (SportsNetwork.com) - Matt Holliday capped a remarkable two-day stretch with a game-winning single in the eighth inning, as the St. Louis Cardinals rallied past the Chicago Cubs, 9-6, to win the finale of a four-game series.
St. Louis, which trailed 5-0 early on, tied the game with two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning and went ahead in the eighth. Pete Kozma, who was recalled from Triple-A Memphis prior to the game, doubled to left-center to start things off. Daniel Descalso reached on a bunt single and Matt Carpenter was walked intentionally to load the bases.
Carlos Villanueva (5-7) fanned Matt Adams and Randal Grichuk, but Holliday ripped a grounder that deflected off the pitcher's leg and into left field. Two runs came around while the Cubs scrambled to get the ball back in. Jhonny Peralta then hit an RBI single to left to make it 9-6.
"There is nothing positive about this," said Villanueva on the loss.
Holliday went 3-for-4 with a home run, four RBI and two runs scored for the Cardinals, who have won two straight after dropping four in a row. Holliday homered twice and drove in five in Saturday's rout.
"He's an elite player and he continues to figure out ways to get it done," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said about Holliday. "We needed that again from him. He's leading us."
The Cardinals moved into a share of first place in the NL Central with the Milwaukee Brewers, who were swept in San Francisco this weekend.
John Lackey pitched 6 1/3 innings, allowing five runs -- two earned -- on nine hits for the Cardinals. Pat Neshek (7-1) pitched out of a jam in the eighth to earn the win and Trevor Rosenthal took care of the ninth for his 40th save.
All five runs against Lackey came in the second inning. His overthrow to first on Travis Wood's sacrifice bunt attempt allowed the first run to come home. Chris Coghlan then singled home a pair and with two outs Luis Valbuena hit a two-run homer to right.
St. Louis chipped away at its deficit, getting on the board in the fourth inning on Holliday's solo homer. Kolten Wong led off the fifth with a solo shot, and Carpenter and Holliday each doubled in a run later in the frame to make it 5-4.
Arismendy Alcantara's solo homer off reliever Randy Choate gave the Cubs some breathing room, but the lead vanished in the home seventh. Carpenter walked and Holliday was hit by a pitch with two outs. Peralta and Yadier Molina followed with RBI singles to knot it at 6-6.
Wood was charged with four runs on six hits in 4 2/3 innings for the Cubs ... Lackey has allowed two or fewer earned runs in eight of his last nine starts ... Prior to the game, the Cardinals recalled Kozma and pitcher Kevin Siegrist from Triple-A Memphis and optioned pitchers Marco Gonzales, Nick Greenwood and Tyler Lyons to Double-A Springfield.
08/31 20:47:25 ET