The St. Louis Cardinals defeated the Chicago Cubs, 5-4, in ten innings on Saturday afternoon at Wrigley Field. Jon Jay had the game winning hit, as he doubled down the right field line off of Cubs reliver Jaye Chapman to score Matt Carpenter.
Cubs closer Carlos Marmol blew his first save since April 24, as he allowed a game-tying solo homer in the top of the ninth inning to Carlos Beltran to extend the game. Then, in the tenth, Jay took advantage of a couple of two-out walks by Chapman by jumping on a 1-1 changeup and smacking it past Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo.
The Cards had initially taken a 3-1 lead into the bottom of the sixth inning, but David DeJesus hit a leadoff homer off of Adam Wainwright, and the inning went downhill from there. After Wainwright retired Darwin Barney, he allowed a line-drive single to Anthony Rizzo and a ground-rule double to Alfonso Soriano. Wellington Castillo came through with a game-tying sacrifice fly after Starlin Castro was intentionally walked, and the Cubs took the lead on an RBI single from Dave Sappelt.
Wainwright allowed three runs on four hits and a walk in that fateful inning, but was otherwise very good. He struck out five and walked two in seven innings, while allowing four runs on six hits.
The win came at a price for St. Louis, as catcher Yadier Molina left the game in the top of the ninth inning with an apparent back injury. He appeared to be hurt while trying to get out of the way of an errant fastball from Marmol.
St. Louis, who improved to 81-71, now holds a two and a half-game lead over the Milwaukee Brewers and Los Angeles Dodgers for the second wildcard spot in the NL. The Dodgers have a chance to trim a half-game off of that deficit, as they play in Cincinnati against the Reds on Saturday afternoon.
For more on the Cardinals, be sure to visit Viva El Birdos. Additional coverage on the Cubs can be found at Bleed Cubbie Blue, while Baseball Nation is the place to go for news and analysis from around the league.