Rapid Reaction: Cardinals 8, Cubs 4

ST. LOUIS -- The Chicago Cubs left five runners on base in the final four innings, three of them in scoring position, in losing to the St. Louis Cardinals Sunday at Busch Stadium.

How it happened: The Cubs fought back from 3-0 and 4-1 deficits to tie the game at 4 in the sixth on singles by Welington Castillo, Donnie Murphy, Starlin Castro and Darwin Barney, but saw the Cardinals regain the lead in the bottom of the inning. Blake Parker allowed a two-out double to Tony Cruz and an RBI single to Pete Kozma. The Cardinals added an insurance run in the seventh and blew the game open with two more runs in the eighth. The Cubs stranded two runners in the sixth, two in the seventh and one in the eighth.

What it means: The Cubs were unable to finish the six-game road trip with a winning record, going 3-3, and failed in their attempt to sweep the three-game series in St. Louis. Still it was the first time the Cubs have won a series at Busch Stadium since September 2010.

Outside the box: Starting pitcher Edwin Jackson put the Cubs in a 3-0 hole in the first inning. In his 23 starts this season, Jackson has allowed 16 runs, 15 earned, in the first inning, an ERA of 5.87. He has given up 27 hits and 11 walks in those 23 innings.

Up next: The Cubs return home Monday to begin a 10-game homestand at Wrigley Field with the first of three games against the Cincinnati Reds. Travis Wood (7-12, 4.96 ERA) will pitch the opener against Mat Latos (11-3, 3.21 ERA) in the 7:05 p.m. game. The Cardinals and Washington Nationals will follow the Reds into Chicago.