ST. LOUIS (AP) -- After a miserable May, the Chicago Cubs began
the new month on a good note. Even if it took them more than five
Closer Ryan Dempster (1-3) worked 2 1-3 innings and Pierre had
three hits for the Cubs, who were an abysmal 7-22 in May.
"Rarely do you come in here and win a game like that," manager
Dusty Baker said. "Hopefully the worm has turned and this is the
way to start off June.
"It was a hard-fought game by both sides."
Scott Rolen had three hits for the Cardinals, including a
go-ahead two-run double in the seventh inning after Albert Pujols
was walked intentionally to load the bases. But a fielding error by
the six-time Gold Glove third baseman allowed the Cubs to score a
pair of unearned runs off Jason Isringhausen to tie it in the
Manager Tony La Russa said he didn't know what happened on the
"I didn't ask him," La Russa said. "Errors are part of the
game. As many great plays as he makes, that happens in baseball."
Walker's routine bases-loaded grounder went between the Rolen's
legs with one out in the ninth, allowing two runs to score to tie
it at 4.
"This is one of the weirdest nights I've ever had in
baseball," Walker said.
The Cardinals loaded the bases in the 10th and 12th, coming up
empty both times with David Eckstein making the last out. He lined
out to third off Scott Eyre to end the 10th and bounced out against
Dempster (1-3) to end the 12th.
"It was right at him," Eckstein said of the 10th-inning liner.
"You've got to find a way to come through, and I didn't."
Light-hitting Yadier Molina matched his career high with four
hits for the Cardinals, raising his average to .196. However,
Pujols was 1-for-6 for the Cardinals, who are 13-13 against the NL
Central after going 51-29 against the division last year.
Pierre doubled off Josh Hancock (1-2), the last St. Louis
pitcher and starting his fourth inning, to start the 14th. He
advanced on Neifi Perez' sacrifice and Barrett was walked
intentionally before Walker, who was 0-for-7, hit a sharp grounder
to first to allow Pierre to score without a play.
"He was 0-for-7?" Baker said. "Oh my God, I've never seen
anything like that."
Hancock has thrown 29 innings in 21 appearances, although he was
a starter with the Reds in 2004.
"I was the last guy in the bullpen so I was going to take it
until we won or lost," Hancock said of Pierre's double. "I wasn't
tired, I just made one mistake and he hit it."
The Cardinals had a season-high 19 hits, but were hampered by a
depleted bench, with Jim Edmonds unavailable due to an abdominal
injury that could land him on the 15-day disabled list and Scott
Spiezio at home due to illness for the second straight game.
"We played 14 innings and we had several chances to win it,"
La Russa said. "That isn't why we got beat."
Jacque Jones homered for the third straight game and had three
hits for the Cubs, who also got three-hit games from Michael
Barrett and Ronny Cedeno. Pierre's RBI single in the fifth was his
fifth of the season, but third in five games.
Jones led off the fifth with his 10th homer, and second off
Sidney Ponson, and the Cubs added another run in the inning on
Pierre's one-out RBI single.
The Cardinals cut the gap to a run in the sixth on a two-out RBI
single by So Taguchi, who got the game-winning hit in an 11-inning
victory over the Astros on Wednesday.
New St. Louis Rams coach Scott Linehan threw out the first
pitch to Cardinals pitcher Jason Marquis. ... Cubs RHP Mark Prior,
rehabbing from a shoulder injury, makes his second rehab start on
Saturday for Class A Peoria. ... A crowd of 45,799, the largest at
new Busch Stadium, continues the Cardinals' streak of all sellouts
at the ballpark. ... Eckstein leads the NL with 24 multihit games
after going 2-for-7. ... Barrett is 10-for-24 against St. Louis
pitching with three homers and 10 RBI. ... Matt Murton was 0-for-3
after going 10-for-23 during a seven-game hitting streak. He's
2-for-23 against the Cardinals. ... Pujols has 12 intentional
walks, second-most in the majors behind Barry Bonds' 21. 21