Cubs fans got all the early laughs Saturday as the Wee Bears scored five earned runs in the top of the first inning at Busch Stadium.
But the home town crowd had all the fun from there on as the Cardinals scored 13 unanswered runs -- eight of them in one inning -- to beat Chicago for the seventh time in eight games so far this season.
Shortstop Daniel Descalso made an error on an easy ground ball in the first inning and starting pitcher Kyle Lohse walked a pair. Still, the Birds were one pitch from getting out of the inning unscathed before Cubs catcher Giovani Soto hit a ball off the outfield wall to drive in two and then Alfonso Soriano hit a three-run homer to finish the job.
Ryan Theriot singled on the first pitch in the bottom of the first inning. But hopes for a rebound were at least temporarily dashed when he was thrown out by 10 feet trying to steal second on the second pitch of the bottom of the inning. Jon Jay made an out on the next pitch. But Albert Pujols homered into the visitors bullpen to get the Cardinals on the board 5-1. Matt Holliday doubled and David Freese walked before Skip Schumaker singled to make it 5-2.
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Lohse settled down and pitched four shut-out innings before he was lifted for a pinch hitter in the bottom of the fifth.
Theriot singled and Jay doubled to bring Pujols to the plate with runners at second and third and one out. The Cubs intentionally walked Pujols and Matt Holliday drew a bases loaded walk to make the score 5-3. David Freese came to the plate and hit a grounder to second that looked like it would end the inning with a double play. But Holliday slid hard into the Cubs shortstop to hold the Wee Bears to one out while one run scooted across the plate to make the game 5-4. While Castro lied on the ground in la-la land, Pujols scampered home from third to tie the game.
Skip Schumaker walked to keep the inning alive, then Yadier Molina singled to give St. Louis the 6-5 lead. The Cubs intentionally walked Descalso to load the bases and bring Kyle Lohse to the plate for a second time in the inning. But St. Louis skipper Tony LaRussa pinch hit with Tony Cruz and the young catcher drew a walk to make the game 7-5. Theriot then doubled to clear the bases and make the game 10-5.
Freese later homered and Theriot added another double to make the final score 13-5 and win the Cubs series.
Lohse pitched five innings with two hits and two hits allowed. All the runs he gave up came in the first and they were all unearned. Lance Lynn, Octavio Dotel and Fernando Salas combined for an uneventful last four innings.
Cardinals Star of the Game: Theriot was 4-for-5 with three runs driven in and one scored to pace the St. Louis offense.
Cardinals Play of the Game: Holliday's breaking up of the the potential double play in the fifth. Instead of escaping the inning with a 5-3 lead, the Cubs ended up ending it down 10-5.
Lowlight: Descalso's first inning error that led to five unearned Cubs runs.