Game Ninety-Two – Cubs 1, Cardinals 4
WP – Kyle Lohse (10-2) LP – Ryan Dempster (5-4) Save – Jason Motte (21)
Ryan Dempster’s best stretch in a Cubs’ uniform came to an end Friday night in St. Louis. The Cardinals pounced on Dempster in the first inning and scored three of their four runs on four straight singles in the opening frame. Dempster settled down somewhat before hanging a slider to Matt Holliday in the third. Holliday hit a titanic blast off Dempster that traveled an estimated 469 feet … the longest home run ever hit at the new Busch Stadium.
Ryan Dempster worked through early struggles and ended up completing six innings of work. Dempster allowed four runs on seven hits with two walks and two strikeouts … and lost for the first time since May 25. Dempster’s scoreless innings streak ended at 33 1/3 innings, the seventh longest stretch of shutout innings for a Cubs’ pitcher since 1908.
Manny Corpas and Scott Maine kept the Cardinals off the board in the seventh and eighth innings but the Cubs’ offense could not put anything together against Kyle Lohse and the Redbirds’ relief corps.
Darwin Barney (0-for-3 with a RBI) drove in the Cubs’ only run with a sac fly in the second inning. Bryan LaHair (1-for-2 with a walk and a run scored) reached base twice and scored the Cubs’ only run. David DeJesus (2-for-4) had a multi-game while Alfonso Soriano (1-for-4 with a double) recorded the Cubs’ only extra basehit.
The turning point in the game came in the top of the third. With the Cubs down 3-1, David DeJesus and Starlin Castro (1-for-4) reached on back-to-back singles to start the inning. After Anthony Rizzo (1-for-4) was called out on strikes (2-2 pitch), Alfonso Soriano (1-for-4) hit into a 1-4-3 inning ending double play.
Dale Sveum’s offense managed only seven hits, six singles, and one walk Friday night. The Cubs finished the game 0-for-3 with runners in scoring position and left seven on base.
With Friday’s loss, the Cubs dropped to 38-54 on the season …
The Cardinals came out swinging against Ryan Dempster and their aggressiveness led to three runs on four singles. Dempster had trouble throwing strikes to Skip Schumaker and fell behind the Cardinals’ second baseman 3-1. Dempster found the zone and caught Schumaker looking for the first out … and in the process ran his scoreless innings streak to 33 1/3 innings.
Allen Craig pulled a 0-1 pitch into right and advanced to second when Matt Holliday drove the first pitch into right center. Carlos Beltran stepped in with runners on first and second with one down and drove Dempster’s 1-1 pitch into left. Allen Craig scored and the Cardinals took a 1-0 lead on the first run allowed by Ryan Dempster since May 30.
Yadier Molina ripped Dempster’s first pitch into right. Holliday scored as LaHair missed the cutoff man and threw all the way to third. Beltran made it to third easily and Molina took second on LaHair’s mistake. With runners on second and third with one down, Lance Berkman pulled the first pitch to Anthony Rizzo. The chopper led Rizzo to the bag. Rizzo stepped on first and threw to the plate … but was late and Beltran scored the Cardinals’ third run. With Molina at third, David Freese looked at a 1-2 offering for the third out.
After one, the Cardinals had a commanding 3-0 lead.
Bryan LaHair worked a walk to begin the second then advanced to third when Steve Clevenger pulled a 1-2 pitch into right. Darwin Barney lifted Lohse’s first pitch into center. LaHair tagged and scored the Cubs’ first run. Luis Valbuena flied out to left and Dempster hit the first pitch he saw into center for the third out.
Ryan Dempster set down the Redbirds in order in the second. Dempster retired the side on only six pitches, four for strikes (27, 20 strikes).
The Cubs wasted an opportunity to cut into the Cardinals lead in the third. David DeJesus led off with a single to right. Starlin Castro hit a bullet back up the middle (0-1 pitch) that went off of Kyle Lohse’s glove and landed just out of the reach of a diving Rafael Furcal. Anthony Rizzo was caught looking at an inside pitch on a 2-2 offering for the first out. Alfonso Soriano hit the first pitch he saw right to Kyle Lohse … 1-4-3 double play.
Ryan Dempster retired Allen Craig on a routine grounder to short. Matt Holliday stepped in and Dempster fell behind 2-1. Dempster hung his next offering and Holliday crushed it well over the wall in left field. The ball traveled an estimated 469 feet … a new record at new Busch Stadium.
Dempster’s struggles continued after Holliday’s mammoth shot. Carlos Beltran smoked a 0-2 pitch into right … and right to Bryan LaHair. Dempster jumped ahead of Yadier Molina 0-2 before eventually walked the Redbirds’ catcher. Lance Berkman pulled a 0-1 pitch into the right field corner, his first hit since returning from the DL. Molina held at third on Berkman’s double. David Freese worked a walk to load the bases with two outs. Dempster jammed Furcal on a 2-1 pitch, shattered his bat and Furcal lined out to Barney to end the inning … 59 pitches for Dempster after three, 39 for strikes.
After three, the Cardinals led 4-1.
Bryan LaHair led off the fourth with a bloop single to left … but that was it against Lohse in the inning. Clevenger and Barney struck out swinging and Valbuena grounded out to second for the third out.
Ryan Dempster retired the Redbirds in order in the fourth. Dempster threw 73 pitches, 48 for strikes, in the first four innings.
Other than a one out single by David DeJesus, the Cubs were not able to chip away at the Cardinals’ lead.
The Cardinals did nothing against Dempster in the fifth … 80 pitches for Dempster after five, 54 for strikes.
The Cubs trailed 4-1 going into the top of the sixth.
Alfonso Soriano reached on an error by Furcal to start the sixth. Soriano smacked a 3-2 pitch right to the Cardinals’ shortstop. Furcal bobbled then threw low to Berkman. The Cubs could not capitalize on the miscue. LaHair looked at a 3-2 pitch for the first out, Clevenger flied out to left center and Barney flied out to left.
Ryan Dempster stayed in the game and retired Berkman on one pitch (flyout to left) to start the sixth. Darwin Barney took a hit away from David Freese on a tremendous play on a ball ticketed for centerfield. Rafael Furcal lined a two-out single to right but Dempster retired Lohse on a grounder to Barney for the third out.
Ryan Dempster allowed four runs on seven hits with two walks and two strikeouts on 94 pitches, 64 for strikes, in six innings of work.
The Cubs did nothing against Lohse in the seventh.
Manny Corpas replaced Dempster to start the seventh. Skip Schumaker singled to right (2-2 pitch) and Allen Craig hit a 3-1 smash toward the hole at short. Luis Valbuena made diving stop, got to his feet quickly and threw to Barney to force Schumaker. Barney’s throw to first was just a little late. Jon Jay took over at first for Craig and stole second on a 2-1 pitch to Holliday. Corpas ended up walking Holliday and the Cardinals had runners on first and second with one out.
Carlos Beltran dribbled a 2-2 pitch toward the hole between first and second. Barney did not field the ball cleanly and settled for the sure out. With runners on second and third with two down, Yadier Molina fouled out to Rizzo for the third out.
Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo went down quickly against Mitchell Boggs to start the eighth. Alfonso Soriano drove a 1-0 pitch into right center. Soriano limped into second with a two out double. Mike Matheny made the slow walk and brought in lefty Marc Rzepczynski to face Bryan LaHair. Dale Sveum countered with Jeff Baker. Baker worked a full count but could not hold up on 3-2 pitch and was called out to end the inning.
Scott Maine retired Berkman on a pop fly to Rizzo in foul ground for the first out in the eighth. David Freese singled to center ahead of a double to left off the bat of Rafael Furcal. With one out and runners on second and third, Maine struck out pinch-hitter Matt Carpenter and pinch-hitter Tyler Greene to end the inning.
The game went to the ninth with the Cubs trailing 4-1.
Jason Motte threw only six pitches in the ninth to close out the game … six.
Matt Garza is scheduled to face Jake Westbrook on Saturday night.
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