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Sunday, August 21, 2011
Rapid Reaction: Cardinals 6, Cubs 2

By Chris Silva

CHICAGO -- Here’s a quick look at the Chicago Cubs’ 6-2 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday at Wrigley Field.

How it happened: Right-hander Rodrigo Lopez has lost each of his last three outings against the Cardinals, which included one relief appearance. On Sunday, he surrendered five earned runs on 10 hits, including four home runs, over 5 1/3 innings. Lopez was hit hard early and often. He gave up back-to-back second-inning home runs to Jon Jay and Yadier Molina, who hit another homer off Lopez in the sixth. Albert Pujols hit his third homer of the season in the fifth. Aramis Ramirez drove in both Cubs’ runs.

What it means: The Cubs won the series against the Cardinals but failed to earn a home sweep of their division rival for the first time since a four-game series in late July 2006. The Cubs will host a four-game set against the Wild Card-leading Atlanta Braves starting on Monday.

Outside the box: When asked on Sunday’s “Baseball Tonight” broadcast whether Carlos Zambrano will pitch again for the Cubs, team chairman Tom Ricketts said, “I have a hard time imagining that.” Ricketts on Friday backed the decision to place Zambrano on the disqualified list for 30 days.

What’s next: Cubs right-hander Ryan Dempster (10-8, 4.61) will face Braves right-hander Jair Jurrjens (12-5, 2.84) on Monday at 7:05 p.m.