Wednesday, May 14, 2014
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Garcia's Painful RBI Pushes Cards Past Cubs

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[May 14, 2014]  ST. LOUIS -- When Greg Garcia dreamed as a youngster of winning a major league game with a walk-off RBI, getting hit by a pitch wasn't what he had in mind.

Even so, Garcia was all smiles as a late Tuesday night morphed into the midnight hour in the St. Louis Cardinals' locker room.

His first major league RBI came courtesy of a 1-2 Justin Grimm pitch that struck him in the ribs, forcing home Jhonny Peralta with the winning run in St. Louis' 4-3, 12-inning win over the Chicago Cubs at Busch Stadium.

"I'll take it," Garcia said of the unusual ending to the four-hour, 39-minute game. "I just want to get on base any way I can. The best thing is that we won the game."

Peralta, the Cardinals' shortstop, led off the inning with a single. With one out, Grimm (1-2) walked first baseman Allen Craig and catcher Yadier Molina, filling the bases.

Garcia pinch-hit for reliever Seth Maness and quickly fell behind 0-2 before taking a breaking ball in the dirt. The next pitch, a 94 mph four-seam fastball, plunked Garcia for a weird walk-off.

"In that spot, if I have a chance to get hit, I'm going to wear it 100 percent of the time," Garcia said.

 


After seeing his team stagger back to the .500 mark at 20-20, Cardinals manager Mike Matheny was equal parts happy and relieved.

"We'll take it any way we can get it," he said. "Wins aren't easy to come by these days."

Particularly for Chicago, which followed up season high marks for hits (20) and runs in Monday night's 17-5 rout of St. Louis by taking its eighth loss in 10 games.

The Cubs (13-25) fell to 2-8 in one-run games and 1-5 in extra-inning games. However, manager Rick Renteria, as he has done consistently in his first season, chose to focus on positives.

"I'd be more concerned if we didn't fight back," he said. "The reality is, they took the lead and we came bouncing back. You have to make sure they keep fighting."

Down to the last out in the top of the ninth against closer Trevor Rosenthal, Chicago forced extra innings when center fielder Emilio Bonifacio looped an RBI single to right, scoring left fielder Junior Lake for a 3-3 tie.

The Cubs then had a chance to take the lead in their half of the 12th, but shortstop Starlin Castro capped an 0-for-6 night by grounding out to second with men at first and second and two outs against Maness (1-2).

Castro also fueled the Cardinals' two-run sixth with a throwing error on third baseman Matt Carpenter's run-scoring fielder's choice grounder. Trying to force Jon Jay at second, Castro threw wide of the bag. Peralta then scored Jay with a tiebreaking single, one of his three hits on the night.

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Chicago grabbed a 2-0 lead in the top of the third inning with one swing of Luis Valbuena's bat. The third baseman lined a two-run shot over the right field wall, his second homer of the year, with pitcher Jake Arrieta aboard after a leadoff single.

St. Louis got a run back in its half of the inning on a two-out infield single by first baseman Matt Adams, scoring left fielder Matt Holliday. However, the Cardinals spent the first four innings wasting scoring opportunities against the wild Arrieta, stranding seven runners.

The right-hander walked five, one intentionally, and threw only 42 of his 82 pitches for strikes in four innings before being relieved by Carlos Villanueva to start the bottom of the fifth. Arrieta allowed one run on four hits and fanned five.

St. Louis starter Adam Wainwright was in line for his seventh win until Rosenthal blew his first save opportunity in 11 chances. Wainwright gave up seven hits and two runs over six innings, walking one and whiffing four.

"This would have been a tough one to lose," Matheny said, "but the guys kept pushing ahead and playing. We finally had a couple of at-bats work out."

NOTES: St. Louis made a bevy of pitching moves Tuesday. The Cardinals placed LHP Tyler Lyons (left shoulder strain) on the 15-day disabled list and sent RHP Eric Fornataro down to Triple-A Memphis. They recalled LHP Sam Freeman and RHP Jorge Rondon from Memphis. ... The 17 runs Chicago scored Monday night represented the Cubs' highest single-game total since a 17-2 pummeling of the Pittsburgh Pirates back in 2009. ... Cardinals RHP Jason Motte (Tommy John surgery in May 2013) pitched a scoreless inning Tuesday in his first rehab game at Memphis, allowing a hit. Motte threw 10 of his 14 pitches for strikes. He previously made four scoreless rehab appearances for Double-A Springfield.

[ 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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