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(Monday, April 23rd)
Final Score: Chicago 3, St. Louis 2
Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - Joe Mather delivered a two-out, two-run single in the bottom of the ninth inning to lift the Chicago Cubs to a 3-2 win over the St. Louis Cardinals in the opener of a three-game series at Wrigley Field.
Jason Motte (1-1) struck out Alfonso Soriano swinging to begin the inning, but pinch-hitter Bryan LaHair fouled off six pitches after working a full count. Motte's 12th pitch of the at-bat was ball four and the right-hander then walked Geovany Soto on four consecutive pitches.
Both runners moved into scoring position on pinch-hitter Steve Clevenger's 3-1 grounder before Mather won the game with a ground ball to center field.
"He's going to get us out of that almost all the time," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said about Motte.
Chicago starter Matt Garza gave up two runs on four hits, walked three and fanned five in seven innings. Mather's late-game heroics made a winner out of Rafael Dolis (1-1), who pitched 1 2/3 innings.
"These guys played hard for nine (innings), we didn't quit," Garza said.
The Cubs won for just the second time in their last nine games.
Jaime Garcia tossed 7 2/3 strong innings for the Cardinals. The left-hander's lone blemish was a first-inning sacrifice fly by Soriano.
St. Louis, which has dropped three of five, grabbed the lead in the fourth. Skip Schumaker led off with a single and Matt Holliday followed with a double into the left-field corner. Carlos Beltran plated Schumaker with a groundout to second. Holliday moved to third on the play and scored on Yadier Molina's sac fly.
The Cardinals loaded the bases later in the frame, but Garza retired Garcia on a fly ball to right.
Garza has allowed three or fewer earned runs in each of his last 14 starts at Wrigley Field...Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro singled in the first inning to extend his hitting streak to 11 games...The Cardinals took two of three from the Cubs in St. Louis from April 13-15.
04/24 01:06:13 ET