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Cubs win in 11, spoiling Carpenter's return from surgery
St. Louis starter Chris Carpenter pitches against the Chicago Cubs in the first inning at Wrigley Field on Friday. (David Banks-US PRESSWIRE)
CHICAGO -- David DeJesus sent a walk-off RBI single into right field in the 11th inning as host Chicago came back to stun rival St. Louis, 5-4, on Friday afternoon at Wrigley Field.
Cardinals closer Jason Motte was given the day off after working in five straight games, leaving ninth-inning duties to Fernando Salas. The right-hander retired the first two batters in the inning but surrendered a single to DeJesus in front of Darwin Barney, who belted a 1-2 changeup out to left for his seventh home run and a 4-4 deadlock.
Welington Castillo singled to lead off the 11th and pinch runner Brett Jackson moved up on a sacrifice bunt before DeJesus singled off Joe Kelly (5-7) and snapped the Cubs' four-game slide, giving Alberto Cabrera (1-1) his first major-league win. The loss trimmed the Cardinals' lead over the Milwaukee Brewers for the second wild card to two games.
The comeback spoiled a win for Chris Carpenter, who was solid in his season debut, allowing two runs on five hits in five innings. The former Cy Young winner is less than two months removed from surgery to address thoracic outlet syndrome.
The Cardinals took a 3-2 lead in the fourth inning on a botched suicide squeeze. Pete Kozma led off with a triple and broke for home as Daniel Descalso squared around on a high and inside pitch. Descalso could not get the bat on the ball but the pitch skipped away from Castillo and Kozma easily crossed. St. Louis added a run in the eighth on Descalso's RBI double.
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GAME NOTEBOOK: Cardinals 3B David Fresse got the start off to rest despite having hit safely in five straight games. He appeared as a pinch hitter in the eighth and was intentionally walked. Matt Carpenter got the start in his place. ... Kozma's steal of home was the first for St. Louis since Kerry Robinson 10 years ago. ... Chicago starter Chris Volstad needed 116 pitches to get through five innings and was charged with three runs on six hits while walking three and failing to notch a strikeout.