St. Louis, MO (Sports Network) – Randy Wells pitched eight stellar innings and helped his own cause with two runs batted in to lead the Chicago Cubs to a 7-2 win over the St. Louis Cardinals in the middle installment of a three-game series at Busch Stadium.
Wells (7-13) allowed one run on five hits with five strikeouts for the Cubs, who have won four of their last five games overall. Xavier Nady delivered three RBI while Darwin Barney added three hits, an RBI and a run scored in the victory.
“It would’ve been nice to have the chance to try for the first complete game of my career,” said Wells, who is a native of the St. Louis area. “It’s something you dream about as a kid.”
Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright (18-11) failed in his bid to become the National League’s first 19-game winner this season and suffered the loss after he allowed five runs on 12 hits with eight strikeouts in eight frames.
“I had very good stuff and located all my pitches,” said Wainwright. “They put some good swings on some good pitches — you’ve got to tip your cap to them tonight. I didn’t make very many bad pitches.”
St. Louis has lost six of its last eight games overall and remained seven games behind the Cincinnati Reds, who lead the NL Central.
Colby Rasmus homered and Matt Holliday drove in his 93rd run of the season in the losing effort.
The Cubs scored twice in the top of the second inning for an early lead. Nady’s one-out infield single preceded a two-out walk to Tyler Colvin. When Barney followed with a base hit, Nady crossed the plate. Another base hit off the bat of Wells ensued and Colvin scored.
Nady’s two-out RBI single in the third gave the visitors a three-run lead. Marlon Byrd doubled with one out and raced around to score on the base hit to left field by Nady.
Chicago added to its lead with two more runs in the top of the fourth. Colvin led off with a single, Barney doubled and after Wells laced a single to left, Colvin scored. Blake DeWitt’s run-scoring single later in the frame made it 5-0.
The only run allowed by Wells was scored in the bottom portion of the fourth. Rasmus led off with a single before Holliday’s RBI double.
Wells was perfect in the fifth and sixth innings, induced an inning-ending double play in the seventh after Yadier Molina’s one-out base hit and tossed a 1-2-3 eighth.
Nady hit a two-run single in the top of the ninth. Cubs reliever James Russell surrendered a solo homer to Rasmus in the home ninth.
Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols was held out of the starting lineup after he received an anti-inflammatory injection in his left elbow. Pujols, who leads the National League with 39 home runs and 104 RBI, has been bothered by the severely bruised elbow since injuring it while diving for a ball in a series against Pittsburgh in late August. He is considered day-to-day. This marked only the second game Pujols missed this season…In 22 career games (13 starts) against Chicago, Wainwright is now 5-4…The Cubs lead the 2010 season series, 7-4…The Cubs have won four straight against the Cards…Chicago was a strong 6-for-14 with runners in scoring position.