CHICAGO –The Cubs got some extra-inning heroics beating the St. Louis Cardinals 4-2 in 10 innings on Sunday.
HOW IT HAPPENED: After a Starlin Castro single, Anthony Rizzo hit a home run to left field to end it. It was the first-walk-off home run of his career and seventh of the season. Paul Maholm's dominating run continued against one of baseball's best teams against left-handed pitching. Maholm gave up one run on four hits over 6 2/3 innings to the Cardinals. The Cubs' early offense consisted of run-scoring ground balls, with their second-inning run helped by a Cardinals error.
WHAT IT MEANS: Maholm has now delivered six consecutive starts with at least six innings pitches and one or fewer runs allowed. It is the longest such run from a Cubs left-hander in the modern era. Saturday was one of his toughest tests too. The Cardinals entered with the best team batting average in baseball against lefties at .284. They also were tied for the second most home runs off lefties in the National League at 37.
OUTSIDE THE BOX: Bryan LaHair's struggles continued as he struck out in all three of his plate appearances Sunday. The left-handed hitter is now 0-for-15 over his last five games. LaHair's batting average dipped to .267, the lowest it has been all season.
OFF BEAT: Nothing like entering the game and having the ball find you. Joe Mather took over in right field in the seventh inning and the adventure began. He nearly got to a Matt Carpenter double but just missed it as he slid before the wall along the foul line. He did make a sliding catch on a Tyler Greene sinking line drive, with the Cardinals' first run scoring on the play. He had a more routine play to end the half inning by catching a fly ball in his tracks.
UP NEXT:The Cubs will send right-hander Justin Germano (0-1, 3.00 ERA) to the mound against the Pirates on Monday in the opener of a three-game series. Pittsburgh will counter with left-hander Erik Bedard (5-11, 4.32) in the 7:05 p.m. start from Wrigley Field.