Cubs Fold in the Finale with the Cards – Cubs 3, Cardinals 6

Game One Hundred Fifty-Three – Cubs 3, Cardinals 6
WP – Kyle Lohse (16-3) LP – Justin Germano (2-9) Save – Jason Motte (40)

The Cubs tried to make a game of it on Sunday afternoon. After being down 3-0 in the third, the Cubs scored a pair in the fourth but the Cardinals added on in the sixth. Alfonso Soriano’s 31st homer of the season made it 4-3 in the bottom of the sixth and the Cardinals put the game away with two in the eighth off the Cubs pen.

The Cubs finished the 10-game homestand with a 3-7 record and finished the year with a 7-10 mark against the Redbirds.

Alfonso Soriano (3-for-4 with a home run and a stolen base) collected three of the Cubs’ seven hits. Soriano hit his 31st home run of the season, a solo shot in the sixth inning off Kyle Lohse. Soriano topped his career-high in RBI set in 2005 with the Rangers on Sunday afternoon … Soriano has driven in 105 runs this season. Welington Castillo (2-for-4 with a double, a RBI and a run scored) doubled in Starlin Castro (1-for-4 with a run scored) with the Cubs’ first run in the fourth inning. Castillo scampered home from third when Kyle Lohse uncorked a wild pitch with two down in the fourth.

The Cubs offense managed seven hits but only one walk and finished the afternoon 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position and stranded six on base.

While the Cubs offense managed only ten baserunners, the Cardinals had runners on base seemingly all afternoon. Justin Germano (four runs on 10 hits with a walk, a HBP and three strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings) could not keep the Cardinals off the bases and gave up 10 hits and 12 total baserunners in 5 2/3 innings on 97 pitches, 62 for strikes. The Cardinals scored three runs in the third and if not for a baserunning mistake it could have been more. Germano found a way to keep his team somewhat in the game but the pen struggled and allowed the Redbirds to put it away in the eighth.

James Russell retired the only two batters he faced on Sunday afternoon but Alberto Cabrera struggled with his command and walked three batters that led to two runs in the eighth. Michael Bowden allowed two inherited runners to score in the eighth and Miguel Socolovich pitched a scoreless ninth.

All toll, Cubs pitching surrendered 12 hits, walked five batters and hit another … 18 total baserunners on the afternoon for the St. Louis Cardinals.

Darwin Barney (0-for-4) did not commit an error for the 138th straight game.

With Sunday’s loss (12-13 on Sundays in 2012), the Cubs dropped to 59-94 on the season with nine games remaining on the schedule …

Jon Jay flied out to Soriano in left to begin the game. Matt Carpenter followed with a single to center (2-2 pitch). Justin Germano fell behind Matt Holliday 2-0. Germano evened the count then struck him out swinging on the seventh pitch of the at bat. Allen Craig reached on a two-out single to left. With runners on first and second and two out, David Freese lined out to Soriano for the third out.

The Cubs did nothing in the first inning.

Justin Germano faced the minimum in the second inning after retiring Skip Schumaker on a grounder to short to start the inning. Tony Cruz reached on an infield single but Pete Kozma grounded into a 5-4-3 double play to end the inning.

Alfonso Soriano led off the second with an infield single. After Starlin Castro popped out to Schumaker at second base, Welington Castillo reached on an error by David Freese. Dave Sappelt struck out swinging (3-2 pitch) for the second out. With Joe Mather at the plate, Alfonso Soriano stole third. Joe Mather walked to load the bases (3-2 pitch) but Justin Germano looked at a 2-2 pitch to end the inning.

The Cardinals broke through in the third. Germano retired Kyle Lohse on a grounder to Castro for the first out but then he hit Jon Jay with a 0-2 pitch … and the inning quickly got away from him. Matt Carpenter pulled a single into right. Jay stopped at second with one out. Matt Holliday singled to center and the Cubs caught a break. Jay held at third but Carpenter did not stop running and also ended up at third. Anthony Rizzo cut off DeJesus’ throw and tagged Carpenter for the second out. Allen Craig stepped in with runners on first and third with two out. Germano uncorked a wild pitch that allowed Holliday to advance to second. Craig pulled a 2-2 pitch down the third baseline and into the left field corner. Jay and Holliday scored on Craig’s 34th double of the season. David Freese followed with a single to center. Craig scored and just like that the Cardinals took a 3-0 lead. Schumaker grounded back to Germano to end the inning.

The Cubs did nothing in the third.

Justin Germano retired Tony Cruz on a grounder to third to start the fourth. Pete Kozma singled to left and advanced to second on a sac bunt by Kyle Lohse. With Kozma at second and two down, Jon Jay looked at a 1-2 pitch to end the inning.

The Cubs got on the board in the fourth after Soriano flied out to center to start the inning. Starlin Castro reached on an infield single and scored all the way from first when Welington Castillo pulled a 2-2 pitch into the left field corner. Dave Sappelt tapped back to Lohse but Castillo advanced to third on the play and scored on a wild pitch with Joe Mather at the plate. Mather was caught looking at a 3-2 pitch to end the inning.

After four complete, the Cubs trailed 3-2.

Justin Germano retired Matt Carpenter (groundout to first) and Matt Holliday (groundout to short) to start the fifth. Allen Craig singled to right and Germano issued a two-out walk to David Freese. With two on and two down, Skip Schumaker flied out to center to end the inning.

The Cubs wasted a chance to tie the game in the fifth. Germano popped out to short to start the inning. David DeJesus drove a 1-2 pitch into left and ended up at second with his 27th two-bagger of the season … but Darwin Barney lined out to center and Anthony Rizzo struck out swinging (2-2 pitch) to end the inning.

After five, the Cubs trailed 3-2.

Justin Germano stayed in and started the sixth. Tony Cruz popped out to Castro for the first out. Pete Kozma then pulled a 2-1 pitch into the bleachers in left center … Kozma’s first big league home run increased the Cardinals’ lead to 4-2. Germano struck out Lohse and Dale Sveum went to his pen for James Russell. Jay grounded out to second to end the inning.

Alfonso Soriano led off the sixth and hit a towering blast into the bleachers in left center. Soriano launched a 1-2 pitch and his 31st longball of the season cut the Cardinals lead to 4-3. Castro and Castillo both grounded out to Allen Craig but Dave Sappelt reached on an error by Skip Schumaker. With Sappelt at first and two down, Joe Mather lined out to right to end the inning.

After six complete, the Cubs trailed 4-3.

James Russell started the seventh and struck out Matt Carpenter. Sveum went to his pen for Alberto Cabrera and he walked Matt Holliday. Allen Craig popped out to short. With David Freese at the plate, Welington Castillo threw out Holliday trying to steal second to end the inning.

Edward Mujica took over for Lohse in the seventh and retired the Cubs in order.

After seven complete, the Cubs trailed 4-3.

Alberto Cabrera started the eighth inning by walking David Freese. Skip Schumaker then singled to right. Freese advanced to third with no outs. Cabrera continued struggling with his command and walked Tony Cruz to load the bases. Adron Chambers ran for Freese and Sveum went to his pen for Michael Bowden.

With the bases loaded and no outs, Pete Kozma lifted a 1-1 pitch into right field. Sappelt caught the ball and Chambers tagged from third. Chambers scored, 5-3 Cardinals. Carlos Beltran hit for Edward Mujica and ripped a 3-2 pitch into center. Schumaker scored and Cruz advanced to third with one out. Jon Jay flied out to right and Matt Carpenter flied out to center to end the inning.

Mitchell Boggs struck out Anthony Rizzo swinging to start the eighth. Alfonso Soriano collected his third hit of the game, a single to left … but Starlin Castro grounded into a 4-6-3 double play to end the inning.

Miguel Socolovich pitched the ninth and other than a one-out walk by Allen Craig, the Cardinals did nothing in the top of the ninth.

Welington Castillo led off the ninth with a single to right. Dave Sappelt grounded out to Jason Motte. Castillo advanced to second with one out. Bryan LaHair hit for Socolovich and grounded out to first. Castillo advanced to third but was stranded when Luis Valbuena looked at a 3-2 pitch from Jason Mottegame over.

Box Score from Yahoo Sports

The Cubs will spend their final off day of the season in Denver. The Cubs open a six-game road trip on Tuesday night against the Rockies. Chris Rusin is scheduled to face Jorge De La Rosa in game one.

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