Series: Game 3 of 3

Chi Cubs won 2-1

Game 1: Friday, May 21
St. Louis7Final
Chi Cubs6
Game 2: Saturday, May 22
St. Louis1Final
Chi Cubs7
Game 3: Sunday, May 23
St. Louis3Final
Chi Cubs4

Cardinals 3

(23-21, 13-8 away)

Cubs 4

(25-18, 13-9 home)

    8:05 PM ET, May 23, 2004

    Wrigley Field, Chicago, Illinois 

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    STL 100001100 3 3 0
    CHC 40000000 - 4 10 0

    W: M. Clement (6-3)

    L: M. Morris (4-4)

    S: J. Borowski (8)

    Ramirez hits three-run homer in first

    CHICAGO (AP) -- Matt Clement can't wait for Kerry Wood and Mark Prior to get off the disabled list and start pitching again.

    Until then, he plans on leading the Chicago Cubs' rotation like he has most of the season.

    "I want to pick up those guys, Mark and Kerry, because they did it for me last year and in the past," Clement said.

    The right-hander picked up his club-best sixth win and the Cubs held on to beat the St. Louis Cardinals and longtime nemesis Matt Morris 4-3 Sunday night.

    "You can't go out there and say, 'Hey I'm going to pick these guys up, I'm going to pitch different," Clement said. "The key is keeping a level head and pitching the same way."

    Clement, so sick with flu on Thursday he couldn't come to the ballpark, got some help Sunday night -- a four-run first highlighted by Aramis Ramirez's three-run homer and solid bullpen work from LaTroy Hawkins and Joe Borowski.

    "It's amazing what we have been doing without Prior, Wood, (Mark) Grudzielanek and now Sammy (Sosa) went down," Ramirez said.

    "We got a pretty good team and a pretty good bench."

    Clement (6-3) went seven innings, retiring 11 straight during one stretch and allowing three hits -- including Albert Pujols' 12th homer in the sixth and Scott Rolen's 10th in the seventh that made it a one-run game.

    Hawkins pitched a perfect eighth, and Borowski got three outs for his eighth save and club-record 22nd straight dating to Aug. 5.

    The Cubs, despite having seven players on the DL, moved into a first-place tie in the NL Central with the Reds. And Clement has played a big role in the Cubs' success.

    "He was a bit weak, but sometimes that relaxes you. He struggled some but made pitches when he had to," Cubs manger Dusty Baker said of Clement.

    "Matty stepped up from day one. I will be extremely happy to get those first two starters back again. We don't have them and you can't depend on what you don't have. What you can depend on is what you do have."

    Morris (4-4) came in with a 10-2 career record and a streak of 20 straight scoreless innings against the Cubs, a stretch that dated to last season and included a nine-inning effort earlier this month.

    "Man, I'd take a couple pitches back," Morris said. "We got a run in the first and then all of a sudden I go out there and before you know it, it's 4-1."

    The Cubs ended their drought against him a hurry, scoring four in the first for the second straight game.

    Leadoff hitter Tom Goodwin, starting because he was 5-for-10 lifetime against Morris, singled and raced to third on single by Moises Alou.

    Ramirez then drove his 10th homer to left for a 3-1 lead. After Derrek Lee walked, Michael Barrett hit an RBI double over Jim Edmonds' head in center to make it 4-1.

    "I tried to back Ramirez off, which I did. Then I tried to sneak one in. And there was no sneaking going on," Morris said. "It's not the home run that hurt. It's the two hits before it."

    Morris lasted seven innings, and gave up nine hits.

    Clement allowed a run in the first when he walked Pujols and Edmonds with two outs and Rolen hit an RBI single, but the Cardinals' potential big inning was ended when Edmonds got thrown out at third.

    "That's a baserunning mistake," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said. "Who knows what that inning could have been."

    Game notes

    Cubs pitcher Kerry Wood will have a bone scan Monday after he had to cut short a live batting practice session Sunday because he had discomfort in his right triceps. Wood was placed on the DL last Thursday. Earlier tests showed just inflammation, no tears. ... Morris has surrendered a major league-high 15 homers. ... After he crossed the plate on his homer, Pujols put a finger to his lips to tell the fans to be quiet. "They were saying a couple of things I didn't appreciate about my family," he said. "You don't mess with my family. You can say whatever you want to me. ... I didn't like it, so when I crossed the plate, I just told them to be quiet."

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press