Cubs 5, Cardinals 3
“It’s a good feeling, obviously,” Marquis said after working into the seventh inning in the Chicago Cubs’ 5-3 victory. “I made some good friends here, good relationships, and I had the three good years of my career here.
“But it’s nice to be on this side and get my team a win.”
Felix Pie and Aramis Ramirez hit two-run homers in the fourth inning for the Cubs, who have won consecutive games for the first time since April 6-7. Left fielder Alfonso Soriano threw out two runners, one at the plate, and was 1-for-5 with two strikeouts.
“He looks so much more in place in left field,” manager Lou Piniella said. “Now what we need to do is get him hitting the ball.”
Marquis (3-1) led the NL with 16 losses to go with a 6.02 ERA last year, didn’t pitch in the division series and wasn’t even on the Cardinals’ roster for the NLCS and World Series. He allowed three runs and five hits in 6 2-3 innings, six days after throwing seven scoreless innings in Chicago.
“We’ve seen him that way when he was with us,” Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said. “He won a bunch of games for us and he’s a talented guy.”
Much of La Russa’s postgame news conference was an argument with St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist Bernie Miklasz. Earlier in the day, La Russa said he wouldn’t speak to the newspaper during the three-game series because of a story that poked fun at the Cubs’ history of losing.
“I have a right to state an opinion and when there’s a cheap shot against the Cubs I don’t want to be a part of it,” La Russa said. “I want everybody to know that the St. Louis Cardinals and their manager have an absolute disregard for that.”
Anthony Reyes (0-4) struck out five in the first three innings and didn’t give up a hit. But the Cubs broke through for four extra-base hits in the fourth, including two-run homers by Ramirez and Pie, to take a 4-1 lead.
Before Friday, all 10 runs that Reyes had allowed in his first three starts came in the first two innings. In six innings against Chicago, he allowed four runs and four hits.
Yadier Molina hit a two-run homer with two outs in the seventh to chase Marquis and cut the deficit to one. It was his first long ball since his go-ahead, two-run homer in Game 7 of the NL championship series against the Mets.
Ryan Dempster got the last five outs for his fourth save in four chances and first since April 7. He escaped a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the eighth, striking out Preston Wilson and getting Adam Kennedy on a groundout. Wilson broke his bat on the plate in disgust.
Dempster survived another scare in the ninth when pinch-hitter Scott Spiezio’s drive down the right-field line with a runner on hooked just foul.
“It was more fair than I thought it was going to be,” Dempster said. “Right away I thought he pulled it foul and I was watching it and I’m like, ‘You’ve got to keep bending here or otherwise it’s going to go around the pole.”’
Piniella extended Dempster because he had three days’ rest and because setup man Bobby Howry tweaked his back moving his barbecue grill off his patio.
With two outs, Mark DeRosa doubled and scored on Pie’s first career homer to straightaway center for a 4-1 lead.
The Cardinals had taken the lead in the third on Scott Rolen’s two-out RBI single off the base of the left-field wall, missing a chance for more when Soriano fielded the carom perfectly and then made a nice throw to second.
Soriano saved a run in the second when he made a barehanded stop on Molina’s single and threw out Jim Edmonds at the plate.
Soriano had an NL-leading 22 assists in his first season as an outfielder last year with the Nationals, third highest in franchise history. … Kennedy has grounded into five double plays, among the league leaders and one more than Edmonds. … The Cubs are 18-40 in St. Louis this decade. … Cardinals RHP Kelvin Jimenez made his major league debut after his contract was purchased from Triple-A Memphis earlier in the day, allowing one hit in a scoreless eighth.