Rapid Reaction: Cubs 5, Cardinals 1

September, 23, 2011
9/23/11
10:24
PM CT
Levine By Bruce Levine
ESPNChicago.com
Archive
ST. LOUIS – A quick look at the Chicago Cubs' 5-1 win over the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday night at Busch Stadium.

How it happened: Alfonso Soriano's three-run home run in the eighth inning was the difference in the ballgame, coming off reliever Kyle McClellan. It was Soriano’s 25th home run of the season. Right-hander Ryan Dempster, who was seeking his 11th win for the eight time, allowed just one run in six innings but got a no-decision. Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro led off the game with a sharp single to centerfield for his 200th base hit of the season. He became the 16th Cubs to reach the 200-hit mark in a season. He added an RBI single in the ninth.

What it means: Although the Cubs won the game, Dempster remained winless in his last eight starts (0-5, three no-decisions). Dempster has logged 196 2/3 innings this season. He’ll get a chance to go over 200 in his final start against the Padres in the Cubs’ last game of the season on Sept. 28. Dempster has three straight seasons of 200 or more innings.

Outside the box: Aramis Ramirez told ESPNChicago.com that he’ll be ready to play on Monday or Tuesday. Ramirez aggravated a quad strain on Wednesday. … Carlos Pena's 97 walks set a record for a Cubs first baseman in a season.

What’s next: The Cubs send right-hander Rodrigo Lopez (6-6 4.71) vs. Cardinals right-hander Kyle Lohse (14-8, 3.47) on Saturday at 12:10 p.m.

Bruce Levine | email

Chicago baseball beat reporter
Bruce Levine has covered sports in Chicago for over 28 years and hosts "Talkin' Baseball," heard Saturday mornings on ESPN 1000.

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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Starlin Castro
BA HR RBI R
.292 14 65 58
OTHER LEADERS
HRA. Rizzo 32
RBIA. Rizzo 78
RA. Rizzo 89
OPSA. Rizzo .913
WJ. Arrieta 10
ERAT. Wood 5.03
SOJ. Arrieta 167