Cards creep closer to wild card lead with win over Cubs

Rafael Furcal's leadoff home run in the 2 win over Chicago as the Cardinals moved closer to the wild card spot.

Thanks to Atlanta's 3-0 loss to Washington on Sunday, the Cardinals now sit just one game back of the top spot for the wild card position.

The Cardinals play a three-game set in Houston to end their season, while the Braves host the Phillies for their final series of the regular season.

In the eighth, Furcal led off the frame with his eighth home run of the season off of Randy Wells while Jason Motte set the Cubs down in order in the ninth for his ninth save of the season.

"That's the fun of it," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said of scoreboard watching. "They just can't get distracted. We all were, that's part of the fun."

Octavio Dotel (3-2) got the final two outs of the eighth inning to pick up the win while Edwin Jackson went seven innings in the start as was touched for two runs on five hits for the Cardinals, who took the final two games of the three-game set after dropping the opener on Friday.

Wells (7-6) went the distance for the second time this season, but lost for the second straight start after giving up three runs on six hits. Starlin Castro and Geovany Soto each drove in a run for the Cubs, who have lost three of five.

The game was scoreless until the fourth inning when Soto lofted a sacrifice fly to score Carlos Pena, but Jackson helped himself out in the bottom of the fifth with a sacrifice fly to tie the game.

The Cubs went back on top in the seventh on a Castro RBI single, but Yadier Molina hit his 14th home run of the season in the bottom of the frame to tie the game.

"Today to hit the ball out of the ball park you really needed to square it up," Pena said. "Those home runs were crushed, the one Molina hit and the one that Furcal hit. Those were well hit."

Game Notes

St. Louis won 10 of the 15 games against Chicago this season...Chicago closes its season with three games in San Diego...The Cardinals went 45-36 at home this season...Wells fell to 2-3 in eight career games against the Cardinals.