Chicago, IL – Anthony Rizzo socked a two-run homer in the bottom of the 10th inning to lift the Chicago Cubs to a 4-2 win over the St. Louis Cardinals in the rubber match of a three-game set at Wrigley Field.
Stymied by St. Louis pitching since the second inning, the Cubs clinched a series victory when Rizzo followed a leadoff single by Starlin Castro with an opposite-field blast to left off Trevor Rosenthal (0-1).
"It's nice this early in his career to get his first walk-off in big-time fashion, and a home run, too," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. "Off a guy throwing 97, 98 mph, to take that pitch opposite field and not try to do too much. It was awesome."
James Russell (5-0) worked around a two-out single by Yadier Molina in the top of the 10th to earn the win for the second consecutive day.
The Cubs improved to 12-3 in their last 15 home games.
Paul Maholm authored another solid outing, holding St. Louis to one run on four hits and four walks in 6 2/3 innings. The veteran left-hander hasn't allowed more than one run in each of his last six starts.
Adam Wainwright gave up two Chicago runs on six hits over six frames.
"Adam did a nice job of controlling the damage early on and kept us in the game," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "A two-run game in this park isn't anything."
The Cardinals trailed 2-0 heading into the seventh. David Freese, back in the lineup after missing the previous two games with cramping in his right calf, stroked a one-out single and Matt Carpenter doubled before Tyler Greene's sacrifice fly put the visitors on the board.
Maholm couldn't get the final out of the inning, walking both pinch-hitter Lance Berkman and Daniel Descalso to load the bases. Manuel Corpas entered from the bullpen and preserved the lead by retiring Allen Craig on a fly ball to right.
But St. Louis tied the game in the eighth when Carlos Beltran homered to left off Shawn Camp.
Castro drove in the Cubs' first run with a groundout in the first. Castro knocked in David DeJesus, who had led off with a triple.
Chicago added another run in the second. Darwin Barney hit a leadoff double and Luis Valbuena walked before Maholm slapped a chopper to drawn-in first baseman Carpenter. Valbuena was erased at second, but Descalso's poor throw to first enabled Barney to scamper home.
Rizzo matched Barney with three hits...Maholm and Wainwright both recorded five strikeouts...Wainwright surpassed 1,000 innings pitched for his career...Freese extended his hitting streak to 10 games.