Castillo's three-run homer lifts Cubs over Cardinals in 11th

News-DemocratApril 12, 2014 

— Welington Castillo's three-run homer against Trevor Rosenthal in the 11th inning Friday gave the Chicago Cubs a 6-3 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals before 43,003 at Busch Stadium.

Castillo connected on a 1-1 fastball from Rosenthal (0-1) and drove it into the bleachers in left-center. The blast came after the Cardinals squandered a first-and-second, no-out opportunity in the 10th against Justin Grimm (1-0).

Nate Schierholtz led off the 11th with a double into the left-field --his fourth consecutive hit. Ryan Sweeney sacrificed Schierholtz to third, and the Cardinals intentionally walked Starlin Castro.

Ryan Kalish popped out to catcher Yadier Molina on a bunt attempt, but Castillo followed with his second homer of the season. The Cardinals (5-5) have scored three or fewer runs six times in 10 games this season.

Grimm walked Matt Holliday and Matt Adams to start the 10th, but struck out Molina, got Shane Robinson on a fly to left and struck out Rosenthal to end the threat. Pete Kozma had been in the on-deck circle, but he was called back.

Matheny explained that Rosenthal had thrown just six pitches in the 10th and the Cardinals wanted to use him one more inning. Matheny also said Kozma would have hit for Rosenthal had Molina or Robinson been able to reach base.

Down to their last three outs, the Cardinals rallied for two ninth-inning runs against Chicago closer Jose Veras to tie the game at 3.

Veras allowed a leadoff single to Molina, then hit Allen Craig with a pitch. The umpires reviewed the hit by pitch and upheld the call by home-plate umpire Gabe Morales.

Pinch-hitter Jon Jay advanced Molina to third and pinch-runner Robinson to second with a sacrifice, and Molina scored on a passed ball by catcher Castillo to make it 3-2. Peter Bourjos also was hit by a pitch, then stole second.

Daniel Descalso walked to load the bases before Matt Carpenter's sacrifice fly to right scored Robinson with the tying run.

The ninth-inning rally took Cardinals reliever Carlos Martinez off the hook for the loss. Martinez was charged with one of the two eighth-inning runs scored by the Cubs that gave them a 3-1 lead.

Anthony Rizzo's sacrifice fly and Schierholtz's RBI single, both in the eighth, put the Cubs ahead by two.

Justin Ruggiano led off the eighth with a pinch-hit single against Martinez. After Emilio Bonifacio's sacrifice, pinch-hitter Mike Olt singled against Kevin Siegrist, sending Ruggiano to third.

Rizzo followed with his line-drive sacrifice fly to right to put the Cubs ahead for the first time at 2-1.

With Olt breaking for second, Schierholtz dropped a hit in front of sliding left fielder Holliday. The ball got away from Holliday, allowing Olt to score. Schierholtz advanced to third when Holliday was charged with an error on his return throw to the infield.

Chicago broke through against Cardinals starter Joe Kelly with an unearned run in the seventh.

Second baseman Kolten Wong's error on Rizzo's grounder fueled the Cubs' comeback. Schierholtz followed with a single and Ryan Sweeney drove in Rizzo with a single to left.

It was the first run the Cubs have scored this season in three starts by Jeff Samardzija, covering 21 innings.

After Sweeney's hit, Martinez relieved Kelly. Schierholtz was gunned out at third base by Molina on a steal attempt as Sweeney took second. Castro then popped out to Wong, and after Kalish was intentionally walked, Castillo tapped out to short.

Samardzija allowed one run (earned) on six hits in seven innings. He walked none and struck out four. Kelly allowed one run (unearned) on six hits in six innings, with no walks and three strikeouts.

Molina had a single that eluded the outstretched glove of diving right fielder Schierholtz in the second and gave the Cardinals a 1-0 lead.

Adams opened the inning with his club-high fifth double of the season. After a wild pitch by Samardzija, Molina came through with his eighth RBI of the season, which leads the team.

Kelly blanked the Cubs on four hits through six innings. He allowed a second-inning single to Sweeney, who was erased on Castro's 4-6-3 double play, and a fifth-inning single by Schierholtz, who was wiped out on a Sweeney 6-3 double play.

Center fielder Bourjos had five putouts in the first four innings.

Carpenter led off the first with a single, but Wong lined into a 6-3 double play. Carpenter appeared to beat the throw from Castro, and manager Mike Matheny debated the call with first-base umpire Mike Estabrook. Matheny, however, did not challenge the play, even though replays revealed Carpenter was safe.

Despite slow starts from right fielder Craig and shortstop Jhonny Peralta, Matheny batted them sixth and seventh in the order.

Craig was 0-for-3 with a hit by pitch. Peralta was 0-for-3 before being lifted in a double-switch.

Craig, who did not play Wednesday afternoon in a 4-0 loss to the Cincinnati Reds, is batting .088 (3-for-34). Peralta is batting .063 (2-for-32). Both of Peralta's hits have been home runs.

Contact reporter David Wilhelm at or 239-2665. Follow him on Twitter: @DavidMWilhelm.

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