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Saturday, June 4, 2011
Rapid Reaction: Cardinals 5, Cubs 4

By Bruce Levine



ST. LOUIS -- A quick look at the Chicago Cubs' 5-4 loss in 12 innings to the St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday at Busch Stadium.

The good: After going 5-for-their-last-42 with runners in scoring position, the Cubs batted around against Kyle Lohse in the sixth inning, scoring four times. First baseman Carlos Pena's two–run homer, his eighth of the season, got things started. The Cubs bullpen put down the Cardinals from the seventh inning on before Albert Pujols' walk-off home run off Jeff Samardzija.

The bad: Manager Mike Quade decided to pitch to Pujols, telling Samardzija and catcher Geovany Soto to be careful before that last at-bat. Samardzija gave up the walk-off home run despite throwing a slider that was low and inside. Pujols earlier homered and doubled off starter Randy Wells. The Cubs managed to score in only one inning despite having 12 hits on the day. They also failed to record a hit after the seventh inning -- the last 17 Cubs batters were retired by the Cardinals bullpen.

Beyond the box score: Quade expects Aramis Ramirez to be ready to play on Sunday. Ramirez had seven stitches in the left side of his mouth after being struck in the face by a batted ball on Wednesday.

Up next: Carlos Zambrano (5-2) will face the Cards’ Chris Carpenter (1-5) in the series finale on Sunday.