Series: Game 3 of 3

St. Louis won 2-1

Game 1: Friday, July 9
Chi Cubs1Final
St. Louis6
Game 2: Saturday, July 10
Chi Cubs2Final
St. Louis5
Game 3: Sunday, July 11
Chi Cubs8Final
St. Louis4

Cubs 8

(47-40, 22-24 away)

Cardinals 4

(54-33, 28-18 home)

8:05 PM ET, July 11, 2004

Busch Stadium I, St. Louis, Missouri 

123456789 R H E
CHC 004210001 8 16 1
STL 000100003 4 7 1

W: K. Wood (4-3)

L: C. Carpenter (9-4)

Cubs' Wood wins first start in two months

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Kerry Wood came off the disabled and list kept the Chicago Cubs' six-game trip from being a total loss.

Wood won in his first start in two months and Sammy Sosa homered and drove in five runs, helping the Cubs beat the St. Louis Cardinals 8-4 Sunday night to enter the All-Star break on a positive note.

Sammy Sosa

Kerry Wood

"That was the biggest getaway victory we've had," manager Dusty Baker said. "Woody was outstanding."

The Cubs salvaged the final game of a six-game trip after they managed a total of five runs in the first five games, and kept the National League's best team from completing a perfect homestand.

Wood said he didn't feel the pressure of the Cubs' slump or the Cardinals' streak.

"It was just a day to go out and get some work in and do the best I could," Wood said. "I wasn't worried about anything else that happened in the last five or six days.

"I guess that helped more than anything, not even thinking about it or worrying about it."

The Cardinals, who lead the Cubs in the NL Central by seven games, outscored their opponents 45-13 in the first eight games before Chris Carpenter got rocked in the final game before the All-Star break.

"I was one pitch away from getting out of the whole situation and I just couldn't make that pitch," Carpenter said. "I got the ball up and they were on it all night."

Wood (4-3), sidelined since May 11 with triceps tendinitis, gave up one run and three hits in five innings with five strikeouts and two walks. He threw 80 pitches in his first victory since beating the Mets with seven shutout innings on April 24.

Not only that, he gave the Cubs a mental lift.

"He was such a huge part of last year," Cubs catcher Michael Barrett said. "I wasn't there but I can sort of sense what he means to this team.

"It's nice to have him back and it kind of rubbed off on everybody."

Jim Edmonds homered in his fifth straight game for the Cardinals, hitting his 21st of the season in the fourth inning off Wood. St. Louis' 10-game winning streak at home came to an end in front of 49,250 -- the third straight sellout of the series.

The Cardinals scored three runs against LaTroy Hawkins in the ninth, on Albert Pujols' RBI single and sacrifice flies by Mike Matheny and Tony Womack.

Barrett also homered and drove in two runs for the Cubs, who avoided getting swept in consecutive road series and won for only the ninth time in 40 games at Busch Stadium over the last five seasons.

Carpenter (9-4) struck out the first five batters on only 25 pitches, and retired the first two hitters in the third. He came unglued after right fielder Reggie Sanders twice mishandled the ball on Jose Macias' two-out single, allowing Macias to go to third.

"It was so exciting at the beginning with both guys just really nasty," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said. "He had two outs, nobody on, and the next thing you look up there and there's four on the board."

Starting with Macias, 10 of the last 13 batters Carpenter faced reached safely. Sosa's three-run shot was the big hit of a four-run third, and he chased Carpenter with a two-run single in the fourth that made it 6-0.

Entering the game, Carpenter was 3-0 against the Cubs with a 2.42 ERA. After giving up six runs in 3 2-3 innings -- his shortest outing of the season -- he left with a 4.15 ERA against Chicago.

Sosa's homer was the first off Carpenter in 33 innings over five games.

Sosa had 10 RBI in his first 20 games since returning from the disabled list because of a sprained ligament in his lower back. But he also homered on Saturday and hit his 16th of the season to straightaway center in the third.

Edmonds homered into the Cardinals' bullpen in right and reliever Julian Tavarez caught the ball with his cap. Barrett restored the six-run cushion in the fifth when he hit his 10th homer off Cal Eldred, working for the first time in nine days.

Game notes

All nine of the Cubs' starters had a hit by the fifth inning. ... The Cubs scored more than two runs for the first time since they beat the White Sox 4-2 on July 3. ... The Cubs haven't lost six in a row since dropping nine straight from May 8-18, 2002. ... The Cardinals' 10-game winning streak at home was their longest since 1986 when they won 11 straight. ... Edmonds tied the team record for homering in consecutive games in a season held by Rip Collins (1935) and Jim Bottomley (1929). Mark McGwire homered in six straight games over two seasons, the final two of the 1997 and the first four of 1998. ... In six games before going on the DL, Wood was 2-2 with a 2.27 ERA.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press