Saturday, August 09, 2008
Sports NewsMayfield's Mutterings: Summer 'Mutts'

Blanco's single in 11th lifts Cubs past Cards 3-2

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[August 09, 2008]  CHICAGO (AP) -- Henry Blanco singled home the winning run with the bases loaded in the 11th inning, and the Chicago Cubs beat the St. Louis Cardinals 3-2 Friday to keep up their domination this season at Wrigley Field.

Chicago improved to an NL-best 44-16 at home, matching its Wrigley victory total from last year.

Jim Edmonds, who spent eight seasons with the Cardinals before he was dealt last offseason, hit a pair of solo homers for the Cubs, connecting in the second and seventh innings off Braden Looper.

With the score 2-2, Derrek Lee drew a leadoff walk against Ryan Franklin (4-5) in the 11th and, running on a 3-2 pitch, took third on Aramis Ramirez's single to right center. Kosuke Fukudome was intentionally walked to load the bases.

Blanco, who entered in the 10th. lined a pitch over shortstop Cesar Izturis.

Bob Howry (5-4) pitched the 11th for the win.

Edmonds' stellar afternoon came on the Cardinals' first visit to Wrigley Field this season.

During Edmonds' return trip to St. Louis last month, Cardinals manager Tony La Russa was miffed about Edmonds' comments that he was happy to be with the Cubs and tired of talking about his past. Edmonds responded by saying La Russa ducked him before the first game of that series.

Edmonds appeared to enjoy his first homer Friday, pausing at the plate momentarily to watch it take off before rounding the bases. Before the drive, Edmonds was 0-for-7 this season against his former team.

His second homer, his 15th of the season, was an opposite-field shot to left-center. He ran quickly around the bases after tying the game but did come out of the dugout for a curtain call.

Joe Mather homered for the Cardinals, who had two runners cut down at the plate - one on a squeeze bunt attempt in the fifth and the second when left fielder Alfonso Soriano made a great throw after catching a fly ball for an inning-ending double play in the sixth.

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Izturis doubled in the fifth and made third when Edmonds' relay throw skipped by Mark DeRosa and Lee for an error. But with Looper, the No. 8 hitter at the plate, the Cardinals tried a bunt. Ted Lilly's low inside pitch knocked Looper off his feet and Cubs' catcher Geovany Soto easily tagged out Izturis, who had broken from third.

Adam Kennedy's RBI grounder in the sixth gave the Cardinals a 2-1 lead. Lilly intentionally walked Albert Pujols and then walked Ryan Ludwick to load the bases with just one out. Troy Glaus hit a fly to medium left but Soriano, who was moving forward when he made the catch, made a laser-like peg to the plate and Soto tagged Mather out on a close play.

Notes:@ Cardinals OF Rick Ankiel was out of the starting lineup for the 12th straight game with a lower abdominal strain but pinch hit and popped out in the ninth. ... Glaus went 0-for-5 and is hitless in 29 at-bats against the Cubs this season.

[Associated Press; By RICK GANO]

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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