Cardinals 11, Cubs 8

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CHICAGO (AP)—Kerry Wood wanted to give the Cubs’ bullpen some rest. Instead, St. Louis hitters gave Wood some extra time off.

Jim Edmonds and Albert Pujols hit consecutive homers in the first inning, and Tino Martinez tied a season high with four RBIs as the Cardinals the Chicago Cubs 11-8 Friday.

Moises Alou hit three homers and tied a career best with five RBIs, but the Cubs lost for the eighth time in 10 games. It was the first three-homer game of his career.

Sammy Sosa hit his 511th career homer, tying Mel Ott for 16th place on the career list.

Wood (8-6), who had won his previous three decisions, gave up seven runs, six hits and six walks, tying a season-high. He lasted three-plus innings, his shortest outing since April 9, 2001, at Montreal, when he also pitched three innings.

“It’s obviously disappointing,” he said. “We needed to win today, I knew that coming in. I let our team down, and I really just hurt our bullpen for the rest of the series.”

St. Louis took a two-game lead over Chicago in the NL Central as the Cubs used five relievers. Brett Tomko (5-5) gave up three runs and seven hits in six innings, struck out five and walked one.

Wood gave up the homers to Edmonds and Pujols in the first, Edmonds’ 26th and Pujols’ 25th.

St. Louis made it 5-0 in the second following a leadoff walk by Edgar Renteria on Tomko’s run-scoring single, Bo Hart’s RBI double and Edmonds’ sacrifice fly.

“I guarantee that there was no one in that lineup today excited about taking their swings,” Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said. “This guy (Wood), the league is hitting .200 against him, and he is so tough. His location was off a little bit and the ball was carrying, so we took the advantage.”

Martinez, who went 3-for-4, led off the third with his 10th homer. He raised his average to .293, its highest level since May 9.

“Kerry just didn’t seem to get in any kind of rhythm,” Martinez said. “His curveball was out of the zone a little bit, and his fastball was up in the zone. But he’s a tough pitcher, and we were fortunate to get some runs early and hang on because they have a good offense as well.”

Wood was chased in the fourth inning after consecutive walks to Hart, Edmonds, and Pujols. Martinez hit a sacrifice fly off Dave Veres.

Alou homered leading off the second and fourth innings, then hit a three-run drive in the ninth off Steve Kline. It was his 23rd multihomer game, his first since April 10, 2002, at Colorado.

“I was fortunate to hit three home runs, but I won’t go home happy,” Alou said.

He was 0-for-12 in the Cubs’ three-game series against the Phillies earlier in the week.

“I had a really tough series in Philadelphia,” he said. “Personally, it was nice to get my stroke back.”

Eric Karros homered leading off the sixth.

“The way we’ve played in the last two weeks has been frustrating,” he said. “We are going through a rut right now.”

Mark Grudzielanek singled off Jeff Fassero in the seventh,and Sosa hit a two-run homer off Esteban Yan, his 12th of the season. That cut the Cardinals’ lead to 7-5.

Martinez hit a two-run single in the eighth against Mark Guthrie, who had relieved Antonio Alfonseca. Mike Matheny and Hart added RBI singles in theninth.

Notes

Alfonseca has given up 11 runs and 12 hits in his last six games. … J.D. Drew did not start because of a sore right knee. … The Cubs activated Veres before the game and optioned RHP Juan Cruz to Triple-A Iowa. … Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel was booed when he sang during theseventh-inning stretch.

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