Final in 11

Series: Game 1 of 3

St. Louis leads 1-0 (as of 5/2)

Game 1: Friday, May 2
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in 11
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Game 2: Saturday, May 3
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St. Louis3
Game 3: Sunday, May 4
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Cubs 3

(17-12, 6-6 away)

Cardinals 5

(19-11, 13-6 home)

    8:15 PM ET, May 2, 2008

    Busch Stadium, St. Louis, Missouri 

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    W: R. Villone (1-0)

    L: C. Fox (0-1)

    Surging Cardinals win in 11 innings after blowing late lead

    ST. LOUIS (AP) -- A rare longball from singles-hitter Skip Schumaker took Jason Isringhausen off the hook.

    Schumaker hit a game-winning two-run homer off Chad Fox in the 11th inning, lifting the Cardinals to a 5-3 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Friday night. A career extra outfielder before this year, he was floored by the mob scene that met him at home plate.

    "I was just happy that I got enough of it to win the game," Schumaker said. "It was kind of icing on the cake when it hit off the fence and over. I was pretty pumped up."

    The Cubs' outfield was playing in with a runner on third and one out when Schumaker, usually the Cardinals' leadoff hitter, hit his second homer of the season and fifth of his career. He has the go-ahead hit in three of the team's last seven victories.

    "That was the best time for me in the big leagues by far," Schumaker said. "I thought the walk-off a couple of days ago was a good feeling but this is incredible. I'm at a loss for words."

    Fox (0-1) had his contract purchased from Triple-A Iowa earlier Friday and made his first appearance since April 2005.

    "I felt good," Fox said. "I just made a bad pitch. It's not the way I wanted to come back."

    Ron Villone (1-0) picked up his first victory since July 2, 2006, for the Yankees over the Mets.

    Alfonso Soriano tied it in the ninth with a two-run homer off Isringhausen. Soriano atoned for a shaky defensive play in left field and a missed opportunity at the plate, both in the seventh, with his third homer of the season.

    Villone struck out two in 2 1/3 scoreless innings for the surprise NL Central leaders, who have won three in a row to move a season-high eight games above .500.

    The Cubs threatened in the seventh and eighth, stranding five runners. Manager Lou Piniella used all of his position players and all of the relievers except for Carlos Marmol.

    Isringhausen has blown three of 12 save chances and two of the last three. He was 32-for-34 last year after missing the Cardinals' 2006 World Series run due to hip surgery.

    Isringhausen left Friday night's game with a 7.11 ERA and boos from a sellout crowd of 45,077 after walking Derrek Lee and Mike Fontenot with two outs in the ninth.

    "I feel great physically, I'm just struggling very badly right now," Isringhausen said. "The hardest part is letting 25 guys down and I don't want to lose confidence in me.

    "I think a lot of it is mental now."

    It was only the second sellout of the season at Busch Stadium and first since opening day. The Cardinals sold out every game the first two seasons at new Busch.

    Yadier Molina had two hits and two RBIs for St. Louis, one of them on a bases-loaded, full-count walk off wild Cubs starter Rich Hill in the first. Piniella said Sean Marshall would probably take over Hill's spot in the rotation.

    "Hill can't start like that in the big leagues," Piniella said. "Every time he starts, it's an adventure. I don't know what the solution is, but I can't start him anymore."

    Hill, whose last turn in the rotation was skipped, walked four in only two-thirds of an inning. It was the Cubs' shortest start since Ted Lilly was ejected after two-thirds of an inning June 10 at Atlanta, and the team's shortest based on performance since Steve Smyth recorded only one out Aug. 27, 2002, at Houston.

    "It's embarrassing to walk in and throw the ball like that," said Hill, who has walked 18 batters in 19 2/3 innings. "I just continually lost it. I don't know how else to describe it."

    Adam Wainwright allowed one run and four hits in 6 1/3 innings for St. Louis. It was the shortest of his six starts perhaps because he was coming off throwing 126 pitches in a complete-game victory over the Astros on Saturday. He doubled for his sixth hit of the year and scored on Brendan Ryan's single for a 2-0 lead in the second.

    Soriano's RBI groundout in the third cut it to 2-1.

    Game notes


    St. Louis slugger Albert Pujols leads the major leagues with 32 walks and nine intentional walks and after getting one of each on Friday. He's reached base safely in all 30 games. ... The Cubs have had the bases loaded in 13 straight games, their first double-digit run since 1979. ... The Cubs' Aramis Ramirez was hit on the left wrist by a pitch for the first time in his career in the sixth and needed medical attention before running to first. Fontenot replaced him an inning later. "It's all right," Ramirez said. "Ice and pain killers and see how it feels. It's pretty swollen right now." ... Shawn Estes was the last Cubs pitcher to allow four or more walks in the first inning, walking four on June 20, 2003, against the White Sox.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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