The St. Louis Cardinals took the finale -- and the series from the Chicago Cubs Sunday, winning a rain delayed game 6-4.
It wasn't the prettiest of game -- the Redbirds surrendered a first inning home run for the second consecutive game to fall behind 2-0. But, as they did on Saturday, the Birds rallied in the final game of the set to propel Michael Wacha to his second win in three starts.
Wacha struggled at times. Besides the two-run blast in the first to Chicago first baseman Anthony Rizzo, he surrendered a 3-2 lead after the delay, allowing two hits and hitting a batter with a pitch with two outs.
But the St. Louis batters were quick to respond. Centerfielder Peter Bourjos tripled to lead off the bottom of the fourth and then scored on a short sacrifice fly by Matt Carpenter. Junior Lake's throw sailed toward the foul side of the third base line and the Cardinals were back on top 4-3.
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It would stay that way until the bottom of the eighth Yadier Molina led off with as single and moved to second on a hit by Allen Craig. Jhonny Peralta doubled to drive in Molina to make the score 5-3. Bourjos grounded to third. But an error allowed Craig to score and the Redbirds led 6-3 at the start of the ninth inning as Trevor Rosenthal came in to close.
Unfortunately, Rosenthal had another trying inning. He struck out Starlin Castro to start the frame. But then he allowed Chicago outfielder Junior Lake to triple and third baseman Mike Olt, who allowed the extra St. Louis run to score on his error in the eighth, singled in a run to make the score 6-4 with the trying run at the plate.
Rosenthal had Wellington Castillo on the ropes with two strikes when he hit him with a pitch and put the tying run on base. After a visit from pitching coach Derek Lilliquist, Rosenthal finally settled and ended the game with a pop-up and a ground out to notch his fourth save.
Cardinals Star of the Game: Although he didn't seem to have his best stuff, Wacha pitched 6 1/3 innings and held the Cubs to three runs on five hits. He walked one and struck out eight Chicago hitters.
Cardinals Play of the Game: Peralta's double in the bottom of the eighth not only provided some much-needed insurance. It was his second hit of the game to raise his microscopic batting average to .111 for the young season.
Lowlight: Matt Adams, who has been the hottest Cardinals hitter in the first two weeks of the season, cooled off with an 0-for-4 day.