Series: Game 3 of 3

St. Louis won 3-0

Game 1: Friday, September 6
Chicago 2Final
St. Louis 11
Game 2: Saturday, September 7
Chicago 5Final
in 13
St. Louis 6
Game 3: Sunday, September 8
Chicago 1Final
St. Louis 3

Cubs 1

(60-83, 28-43 away)

Cardinals 3

(81-61, 44-27 home)

    2:10 PM ET, September 8, 2002

    Busch Stadium I, St. Louis, Missouri 

    123456789 R H E
    CHC 000000100 1 - -
    STL 00110001 - 3 - -

    W: J. Simontacchi (10-5)

    L: K. Wood (10-9)

    S: S. Kline (4)

    Wood can't break losing skid vs. Cardinals

    ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Jason Simontacchi, emerging from a short stint in the minors, showed the St. Louis Cardinals he belongs in their pitching mix.

    The 28-year-old rookie outdueled Kerry Wood and added two hits as the Cardinals wrapped up a three-game sweep of the Chicago Cubs with a 3-1 victory Sunday.

    "You're sent down and you want to come back and prove you can still be here and contribute,'' Simontacchi said. "It was just good to be back.''

    The NL Central leaders have won five in a row and 10 of 13 to move a season-best 20 games above .500, and swept the Cubs for the second time this year. Wood (10-9) struck out 10, but failed to beat the Cardinals for the fourth time this season, allowing two runs and eight hits in seven innings.

    "I think I got outpitched today,'' Wood said. "The other guy threw the ball better than I did. That's basically what happened.''

    Cubs manager Bruce Kimm kept the clubhouse doors closed for 10 minutes after the game while delivering a profanity-laced tirade to his players that could be heard outside.

    "What happens in the clubhouse stays in the clubhouse,'' Kimm said. "I just went over a few things. We just went over a few things that I feel strongly about. I just want them to play hard.''

    Simontacchi (10-5) dominated in his first start since being recalled from Triple-A Memphis on Sept. 3. After losing in two earlier matchups against Wood and the Cubs, he worked a career-best eight innings and gave up a run on four hits with four strikeouts and one walk.

    "Any pitcher with his capabilities, you've got a tough day or a long day ahead of you,'' Simontacchi said. "You've just got to try to minimize your mistakes and just make good pitches.''

    He held the Cubs scoreless until rookie Hee Seop Choi hit a 432-foot home run over the right-field wall for his first major-league hit with two outs in the seventh. Steve Kline worked the ninth for his fourth save with closer Jason Isringhausen, who hasn't pitched since Aug. 25 because of a sore shoulder and stiff neck, again was unavailable.

    Simontacchi singled and scored the game's first run on an infield hit by Kerry Robinson in the third. Wilson Delgado hit his second career home run, and first since 2000 when he was with the New York Yankees, in the fourth, and added an RBI double off Joe Borowski in the eighth.

    Delgado played shortstop to give Edgar Renteria a rare day off.

    "What a wonderful lift,'' manager Tony La Russa said. "Those two runs were so huge and I'm not sure which one was bigger.''

    The Cardinals were missing NL RBI leader Albert Pujols, out for the second straight game with spasms in his left shoulder, and J.D. Drew, who has a mild quadriceps strain. Manager Tony La Russa said both could play Monday at Milwaukee.

    Wood has seven double-digit strikeout games this year, including four in the last eight games, and 26 for his career.

    Sammy Sosa was 1-for-4 with a strikeout, and is 5-for-26 with one homer and six runs in his last seven games since missing nine games with a mid-back sprain.

    Game notes

    Simontacchi allowed 10 earned runs in eight innings his first two games against the Cubs. ... Wood was 3-2 with a 1.73 ERA against the Cardinals this season. ... The Cardinals also swept the Cubs May 13-15 in St. Louis. ... Choi just missed foul on a bid for a two-run homer in the second, then ended up grounding into a double play. ... Simontacchi is the first Cardinals rookie to win 10 games since Rick Ankiel won 11 in 2000.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press