Game Seventy – Cubs 1, Cardinals 4
WP – Jake Westbrook (3-2) LP – Edwin Jackson (3-9) Save – Edward Mujica (21)
The Cubs dropped game three in St. Louis on Wednesday night after scoring only one unearned run on two hits against Jake Westbrook and the Cardinals’ bullpen.
Edwin Jackson surrendered a run in the first inning but settled down and kept the Cardinals off the board until the sixth inning. Yadier Molina was 8-for-12 with two home runs in his career against Jackson before Wednesday night and to no surprise he delivered the game winner.
With the game tied at one and a runner on first after the Cubs failed to turn a double play, Yadier Molina pulled a 1-2 pitch over the wall in left center and Molina’s fifth longball of the season gave the Redbirds a 3-1 lead. The Cardinals tacked on another run in the sixth before coasting to the win.
Edwin Jackson was not as sharp as he was in his previous two innings but really made only one mistake on the night. Jackson allowed four runs on six hits with two walks, a hit batsman and a strikeout in 5 1/3 innings. Jackson threw 94 pitches, 56 for strikes.
Carlos Villanueva replaced Jackson and allowed an inherited runner to score. Villanueva continued his recent struggles coming out of the Cubs’ pen. Shawn Camp made his first appearance since being activated from the DL and pitched a scoreless seventh while Blake Parker retired the side in order in the eighth with a couple of strikeouts.
The Cubs offensive woes continued on Wednesday night. Dale Sveum’s team managed only two singles, four walks and seven total baserunners. Anthony Rizzo (1-for-2 with a run scored and a HBP) reached base twice and scored the only run on a Darwin Barney (0-for-1 with a sac fly RBI and a walk) sac fly in the second that tied the game at one. Luis Valbuena (1-for-4) was the only other Cub to hit safely on Wednesday night against Jake Westbrook.
With Wednesday’s loss, the Cubs dropped back to 12 games under .500 (29-41) on the season.
After the Cubs went down in order in the first inning, Matt Carpenter led off the home half of the first with a single to left. Edwin Jackson then issued a four-pitch walk to Carlos Beltran … and was in immediate trouble. Jackson started throwing strikes and got ahead of Holliday 1-2 before Matt Holliday flied out to Sweeney in right center. Both runners held with one down.
Allen Craig smoked a 2-2 pitch into left field. Soriano made a strong throw to the plate as Carpenter rounded third and headed for home. The ball hit Carpenter in the back. Carpenter scored, 1-0 Cardinals, but the ball did not roll too far away from Castillo and the runners held at first and second. Molina fouled out to Rizzo on the first pitch for the second out and Jay grounded out to first to end the inning.
Edwin Jackson did a good job of limiting the damage and allowed just one run on 22 pitches, 13 for strikes, in the opening frame.
Anthony Rizzo came through with the Cubs’ first hit with one out in the second inning. Rizzo pulled the 0-2 offering from Westbrook into right center. Ryan Sweeney then rolled over a 1-1 pitch toward second. Carpenter fielded the routine grounder but airmailed the throw from his knees into left field. Rizzo advanced to third and Sweeney moved up to second on the miscue. Instead of an inning ending double play, the Cubs had runners on second and third with one down.
After falling behind 1-2, Welington Castillo put together one of his better at bats, worked a walk and loaded the bases with one down. Darwin Barney blooped the first pitch into right center. Jon Jay caught the ball running in toward the infield and made a strong throw to the plate when he saw Rizzo tag from third. Rizzo hustled down the line. The ball beat Rizzo to the plate, but was a little off-line and Molina could not secure the ball before Rizzo knocked it away. Rizzo scored and tied the game at one. Both runners advanced on a rare miscue by Yadier Molina. But with runners on second and third with two down, Jackson grounded out to third to end the inning.
Edwin Jackson issued a two-out walk to Jake Westbrook in the second, but that was all. Jackson needed 33 pitches, 18 for strikes, to complete two innings on Wednesday night.
The game remained tied at one through the top of the sixth inning. Jackson settled down nicely and kept the Cardinals off the board until the bottom of the sixth.
Edwin Jackson took the hill in the sixth with the game tied at one after throwing 81 pitches, 48 for strikes, over the first five frames. Matt Holliday led off the sixth with a single down the first baseline. Allen Craig then hit a tailor made double play ball to short. Starlin Castro played back on the ball, fielded it cleanly and tossed to Barney with Holliday barreling in on him. Barney threw to the inside of first, Rizzo could not scoop and Craig reached on what was scored a fielder’s choice.
Yadier Molina stepped in and did what he does against Cubs’ pitching … and that is drive in runs. Molina launched a 1-2 pitch into the stands in left center. Molina’s fifth longball of the season put the Cardinals up 3-1. Jackson then plunked Jon Jay on a 3-1 pitch and Dale Sveum went to his pen.
Carlos Villanueva replaced Jackson and continued his recent struggles. Villanueva gave up a single to Daniel Descalso. Jay was running with the pitch and ended up a third with one down. Pete Kozma followed with a single to left center, Jay scored and the Cardinals took a commanding 4-1 lead. Westbrook bunted Descalso and Kozma up ninety feet. Matt Carpenter worked a full count before grounding out to Rizzo to finally end the inning.
After six complete, the Cubs trailed 4-1 and were being outhit 8-2.
The Cubs managed only one baserunner, a walk by Darwin Barney in the eighth, over their last three at bats. The bullpen kept the Cardinals from tacking on but the Cubs offense could not buy a hit on Wednesday night.
Scott Feldman faces Lance Lynn in the series finale in St. Louis on Thursday night.