Cardinals 4, Cubs 3

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ST. LOUIS (AP)—The St. Louis Cardinals followed a game-winning home run with a game-winning walk.

LaTroy Hawkins walked Mike Matheny on a full count with two outs to force in the game-winning run in the ninth inning, giving the Cardinals a 4-3 victory Friday night over the Chicago Cubs and spoiling a sharp outing by Kerry Wood.

It was the Cardinals’ second straight victory in their final at-bat. Jim Edmonds homered in the 13th inning to beat the Phillies 5-4 Thursday.

“Whatever it takes,” Matheny said. “It was a neat feeling.”

With the score tied, St. Louis rallied against three relievers in the ninth with the help of four walks.

Albert Pujols drew a four-pitch walk against Kyle Farnsworth (0-1) and Edmonds walked off Kent Mercker on five pitches. The runners moved up on Scott Rolen’s sacrifice against Hawkins. Edgar Renteria was walked intentionally to load the bases and Reggie Sanders fouled out for the second out.

Matheny, who struck out all three trips against Wood, fell behind 0-2 before taking four straight balls. Ball four was near the plate, but high.

“He kept throwing me the pitches I was swinging at and missing all day,” Matheny said. “I don’t blame him, that’s what I would have done, too.

“For some reason I was able to finally able to relax.”

Hawkins said the 3-2 pitch wasn’t close.

“I can deal with guys beating me, I can’t deal with walking guys,” Hawkins said. “That’s what I’m upset about.”

Wood struck out 10 in eight innings, allowing three runs on five hits and a walk. It was his second double-figure strikeout game this season and 39th of his career.

He hurt himself with an errant pickoff throw that helped the Cardinals score an unearned run in the sixth. That throw, and the fastball that Sanders hammered, were the only two tosses Wood bemoaned.

“I thought I threw the ball pretty well,” Wood said. “I’d definitely take throwing the ball that way every time out.”

The Cardinals are 5-9 at home, but have won the last two. They’re also 14-3 against the Cubs at Busch Stadium the last three seasons and 26-5 the last five years.

“We hung in there,” St. Louis manager Tony La Russa said. “There’s nobody throwing the ball better than Kerry Wood right now and we saw it. He was outstanding. It was just heroes back and forth and we had the last one.”

Sanders hit his eighth homer, Edmonds had an RBI double and Ray Lankford had a sacrifice fly for the Cardinals.

Michael Barrett was 3-for-4 with two doubles for the Cubs, who have won 11 of 17.

Steve Kline (1-1) got the last out in the top of the ninth, retiring Todd Walker on a groundout with runners on first and second.

Moises Alou had a sacrifice fly in the first and an RBI double in the third to make it 2-0 for the Cubs. He’s batting .446 with six homers and 15 RBIs in his last 13 games.

Wood retired 11 batters in order at one point, allowing only one ball to be hit to the outfield, before running into trouble. With two outs in the fourth, Pujols singled and scored on Edmonds double to the gap in left-center.

Sanders’ eighth homer, a 412-foot shot to straightaway center, tied it in the fifth and Woods’ error helped the Cardinals score the go-ahead run in the sixth.

The Cubs tied it at 3 in the seventh on Barrett’s leadoff double, asacrifice and a wild pitch by reliever Ray King.

Notes

Cardinals starting pitchers have allowed the opposition to score in the first inning in eight of the first 14 home games, giving up 12 total runs. … Sanders was 0-for-12 against Wood before his homer and Lankford is 1-for-11. … Third base umpire Mike Everitt signaled a two-run homer on Barrett’s barely-foul drive over the left-field wall in the fourth before the call was overturned after the crew huddled. Replays showed the ball was foul. … Barrett is 7-for-13 the last four games. … Womack started at 2B for the first time in 10 days due to a strained triceps muscle and was 2-for-4 and scored a run. … Todd Hollandsworth is 4-for-9 as a pinch hitter with two homers andthree RBIs after singling in the ninth for Chicago.

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