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(Friday, May 2nd)
Final Score: Chicago 6, St. Louis 5
Chicago, IL (SportsNetwork.com) - Anthony Rizzo finished with two hits, including a solo homer, and drove in three to fuel Chicago's 6-5 victory over St. Louis in the opener of a three-game series at Wrigley Field.
"He's made a very conscious effort of trying to control the strike zone," Cubs manager Rick Renteria said of Rizzo, who upped his home batting average to .407 this season. "He's just trying to not do too much. If he puts the barrel on the ball with a decent swing, he can hit the ball out of the ballpark."
Welington Castillo hit three doubles and knocked in two for the Cubs, while Ryan Sweeney contributed two hits and an RBI.
Travis Wood (2-3) allowed six hits and three runs -- two earned -- with six strikeouts over seven solid innings. Hector Rondon tossed a scoreless ninth to earn his second save.
Jhonny Peralta slugged a two-run shot and accounted for three RBI for the Cardinals, with Matt Carpenter scoring twice and knocking in a run in defeat.
Adam Wainwright (5-2) was torched for six runs on 10 hits with four strikeouts and a pair of walks over five full frames. The right-hander also suffered his first defeat on the north side after 17 games (12 starts).
"I left a lot of balls in the middle of the plate," said Wainwright, whose 25- inning scoreless string didn't last beyond Chicago's first turn at the plate. "I did that last time I pitched against them, too, so I don't think there's a coincidence -- or I don't think there's a meaning behind it, it's just a weird coincidence."
Justin Grimm subbed for Wood in the eighth, and got into trouble immediately after walking Carpenter and serving up a two-run shot to Peralta which reduced the Cardinals' deficit to 6-5.
Matt Holliday singled off Emilio Bonifacio's glove at second, and after Allen Craig flied out, Brian Schlitter got the nod. He retired the next two batters to preserve the one-run margin.
Rondon backed that up by retiring St. Louis in order in the ninth on a groundout, foul out and flyout.
In the home first, Bonifacio singled, Luis Valbuena doubled and Rizzo's long single plated both.
St. Louis countered in the third. Randal Grichuk struck a leadoff double but was caught in a rundown on Mark Ellis' grounder. Ellis was sacrificed to second then scored on Carpenter's base hit. Peralta followed with a double off the ivy in right center to score another and tie the game.
Chicago fired back with three in the home third. With one down, Rizzo and Nate Schierholtz walked around a Starlin Castro base hit which filled the sacks, then Sweeney's grounder scored Rizzo ahead of Castillo's two-run double for a 5-2 game.
"With all due respect to that team, they're a great ballclub, but we're a pretty good team, too," Rizzo said. "It's just about scoring runs when we have the opportunity to."
Yadier Molina doubled with one out in the fourth and later scored on Castro's throwing error on a Grichuk grounder to pull the Cards within two, but Rizzo reached the bleachers near the right-field foul pole to start the bottom of the fifth and restore the Cubs' three-run edge.
St. Louis won two of three at home against Chicago in the first matchup between the clubs from April 11-13 ... The Cubs beat the Cardinals for just the second time in the last nine meetings since last Aug. 17.
05/02 20:25:49 ET
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