St. Louis (34-25) at Chicago (30-28)

Scattered Showers Currently: Chicago, IL, US
Temp: 55° F
  • Game info: 2:20 pm EDT Thu Jun 10, 2004
  • TV: FSMW, WGN
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The heated rivalry between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Chicago Cubs continues as the teams square off in the finale of a four-game series at Wrigley Field.

St. Louis has taken two of the first three games, which have been even more testy than usual between the NL Central rivals.

“I don’t really know why it happens,” said St. Louis’ Jim Edmonds, who homered twice Wednesday in the Cardinals’ 12-4 rout of the Cubs.

“The media was making a big deal out of this rivalry and it was April and May. Everybody keeps building it up, obviously something’s going to happen, whether it’s just exciting baseball or a little bit of words back and forth.”

This time, it was both.

Edgar Renteria hit a grand slam, Edmonds drove in four runs, and some bad feelings that had been buried during the offseason resurfaced when Matt Morris buzzed a pitch at Derrek Lee’s head.

Both benches cleared in the fifth inning, but no punches were thrown and no one was ejected.

“It’s an intense rivalry,” said Morris, who gave up four runs and eight hits in five innings, walking four.

The Cubs had won three of four coming into Wednesday’s game, but Mark Prior’s second outing of the year was a poor one. When Prior came off the disabled list last year, he went 10-1 with a 1.52 ERA. It looked like more of the same in his first start last Friday as he retired his first 13 batters, allowed two hits and walked none in six scoreless innings against Pittsburgh.

Against the Cardinals, he lasted just 3 2-3 innings and matched his career high with five walks. He gave up five runs and five hits, and also threw a wild pitch.

“I just didn’t get it done,” Prior said. “We needed a win and I could have given this team better results. I just didn’t execute.”

The Cubs and Cardinals have split their first 10 meetings.

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