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Rapid Reaction: Cubs 5, Cardinals 1

9/23/2011

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.