Cubs blank Cards
St. Louis, MO – Chris Rusin and four relievers combined on a shutout, and the Chicago Cubs upended the St. Louis Cardinals, 3-0, at Busch Stadium.
Junior Lake singled in a run in the seventh and scored on Anthony Rizzo's two- run base hit later in the inning, as the Cubs won for just the third time in 12 games.
Rusin (2-1) allowed seven hits, walked two and struck out five.
"He's pitching really, really well," manager Dale Sveum said of Rusin. "The thing with him is when he throws strikes. The ball can move so much, that he get some swings and misses on some balls that are quite a ways out of the zone. He did a great job again."
After Jon Jay's single in the sixth, the Cubs didn't allow a hit the rest of the way. The only baserunners for St. Louis the final three innings came when Pedro Strop hit Matt Holliday with a pitch in the eighth and Kevin Gregg walked pinch-hitter Carlos Beltran with two outs in the ninth. Right fielder Cole Gillespie made a twisting grab in front of the wall on a ball hit by Matt Carpenters to end the game and give Gregg his 24th save of the year.
James Russell and Blake Parker bridged the gap to the final two Chicago relievers.
Lance Lynn (13-6) was charged with all three runs on three hits and five walks. Lynn, who was removed after 6 2/3 innings, fell to 8-2 at home this season.
"That was a tough one. I felt good, I was just missing," Lynn said. "It's one of those things, they got me in some deep counts and they worked some walks and they weren't chasing some stuff."
Jay had three hits for the Cardinals, who have lost three in a row and 12 of their last 16 contests.
Welington Castillo walked and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt in the eighth. Darwin Barney walked, and with two outs Lake singled to center. After Gillespie was hit by a pitch, Rizzo smashed Randy Choate's pitch to center for a 3-0 cushion.
The Cubs left the bases loaded in the eighth, but didn't need the insurance thanks to superior bullpen work.
Home plate umpire David Rackley ejected pinch-hitter Daniel Descalso, who was called out on strikes in the bottom of the ninth. Cardinals manager Mike Matheny was then thrown out, also for arguing with Rackley.
Lynn was called out on strikes to leave the bases full in the second and he grounded out to strand two more in the fourth. Matt Adams grounded back to Rusin in the fifth to leave runners at the corners.
It was Lynn's first loss (3-1) in five games against the Cubs at Busch Stadium ... The Cubs went 2-for-7 with runners in scoring position and left 10 men on base. Chicago went 5-for-29 with RISP in the just-finished series against the Phillies, including 1-for-12 Thursday ... Rusin is 2-0 in four road starts this season.