St. Louis, MO – Yadier Molina hit a two-out, game-winning single in the bottom of the ninth inning to lead the Cardinals past the Cubs, 7-6, in the finale of a two-game set.
After Alfonso Soriano had tied the game in the top of the ninth with a solo homer, Matt Holliday led off the home half with a single off of Rafael Dolis (2-3). Three batters later, Molina sliced a slow grounder into the hole, off the glove of second baseman Darwin Barney and into right.
"I thought I was going to get there," Barney said. "I was pretty close on Holliday's ball too. It's unfortunate."
Holliday, who had moved to second on a David Freese groundout, raced home to snap St. Louis' four-game losing streak and prevented the club from going winless on a homestand of four or more games for the first time since 1983. Jason Motte (2-1) pitched the ninth to get the victory.
Chicago got out to an early start, plating three runs in the top of the first on an RBI single by Starlin Castro, a groundout by Bryan LaHair and an Ian Stewart double.
The Cardinals answered in the following two frames, scoring twice in the home first on a run-scoring double by Allen Craig and a groundout by David Freese.
"Some days you're fighting so much it just seems like the whole game is uphill. You could tell, that first inning, those two runs were big," said St. Louis manager Mike Matheny.
Rafael Furcal brought home Tyler Greene in the second with a ground ball after Greene doubled and moved to third on Kyle Lohse's bunt.
Holliday ripped a two-out blast in the fifth to give St. Louis a brief lead, but the Cubs replied in next half-inning, when LaHair continued his early- season power surge with his tenth homer of the season. Pinch-hitter Reed Johnson made it 5-4 in favor of the visitors in the seventh when he singled home Barney.
But Craig tied the game once more in the home seventh with an RBI base hit, and Matt Carpenter pushed the Cardinals in front again with a rocket over the fence in right-center in the eighth.
Lohse allowed five runs on nine hits with five strikeouts over 6 2/3 frames...Cubs starter Paul Maholm also fanned five while surrendering four runs on seven hits and three walks in six innings...St. Louis placed outfielder Jon Jay on the 15-day disabled list with a sprained right shoulder and recalled outfielder Shane Robinson from Tripla-A Memphis before the game...LaHair has reached base safely in a team-high 32 straight games.