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Rapid Reaction: Cubs 7, Cardinals 6

7/25/2014

 

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Cubs beat the St. Louis Cardinals 7-6 on Friday afternoon. Here's a quick look at the game.

How it happened: A wild, back-and-forth game was won by the Cubs when Luis Valbuena erased a one-run deficit with a two-run homer in the seventh inning. The Cardinals scored three unearned runs in the first inning as Arismendy Alcantara threw away a potential double-play ball at second base and Chris Coghlan misplayed a double in left. But the Cubs tied the score on Ryan Sweeney's three-run home run in the second and then took the lead with a Sweeney RBI single with two outs in the third inning. Cubs' starter Travis Wood homered in the fourth to extend the lead, but solo shots by Matt Carpenter and Matt Holiday tied the score in the fifth. After a pinch-hit RBI single by Oscar Taveras put the Cardinals ahead again in the sixth, Valbuena helped win the game for the home team. Wood lasted five innings throwing 113 pitches.

What it means: Wood had some bad luck with the errors, but he's no longer reliable in the way other top pitchers are when things go wrong behind him. He had a 5-3 lead in the fifth and promptly gave it back with two solo shots. His pitch count told his story. If anyone wants Valbuena or Sweeney before Thursday's trade deadline then they must have liked what they saw out of them playing long ball. Both went opposite field in key moments in the game.

Largest crowd: The Cubs and Cardinals played in front of the largest crowd of the season: 41,534.

Ruggiano, Jackson OK: Before the game, manager Rick Renteria indicated Justin Ruggiano was available despite nursing a sore groin. He pinch hit in the bottom of the sixth inning but struck out. Edwin Jackson will make his next start after leaving Thursday's game because of cramping in his hands.

What's next: Game 2 of the series takes place Saturday afternoon when Jake Arrieta (5-2, 2.12) faces Shelby Miller (7-8, 4.25).