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Cubs rough up Wainwright in win

The SportsXchange

CHICAGO -- As a benchmark game, the Chicago Cubs' 6-5 victory over the reigning National League champion St. Louis Cardinals might be a pretty good one.

And while it was just one win, it was a promising performance as the Cubs rocked Cardinals right-hander Adam Wainwright -- one of the major league's leading pitchers -- for six runs and 10 hits in just five innings to open a three-game weekend series on Friday.

"Fortunately for us, we got to him," said Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo, 2-for-3 with 3 RBIs, including a fifth-inning home run that provided the winning margin. "He's the hottest pitcher in the league right now. It's encouraging for us."

The normally reliable Wainwright (5-2) saw a 25-inning scoreless streak end in his shortest outing of the season.

"I was just very sloppy," Wainwright said. "I looked at my tape and there were some things that were off today in my delivery and (I) just have to make some adjustments. You're not going to be perfect every time and today was just a bad day."

Cubs left-hander Travis Wood (2-3) worked seven innings -- matching his longest outing of the season -- and picked up his first victory since April 21. Right-hander Hector Rondon pitched the ninth inning for his second save.

Cardinals shortstop Jhonny Peralta closed the gap in the eighth with a two-run homer to center off right-handed reliever Justin Grimm, scoring third baseman Matt Carpenter and trimming the lead to 6-5.

Cubs catcher Welington Castillo was 3-for-4 with three doubles and second baseman Emilio Bonifacio and center fielder Ryan Sweeney had two hits apiece. Peralta paced the Cardinals with two hits.

Wainwright's scoreless run ended abruptly in the first inning when the Cubs collected three straight hits with none out for a quick 2-0 lead. Rizzo's single to center scored Bonifacio and third baseman Luis Valbuena.

The Cardinals replied with two runs in the third as leadoff batter Matt Carpenter drove in second baseman Mark Ellis with a base hit and Peralta's double to deep center brought Carpenter home.

The Cubs loaded the bases in the bottom of the third with one out for Sweeney. A .222 hitter with bases loaded, Sweeney drove home Rizzo while grounding into a fielder's choice to second for a 3-2 lead.

Castillo then lined a bases-clearing double into right field, scoring shortstop Starlin Castro and right fielder Nate Schierholtz for a 5-2 Cubs lead.

The Cardinals cut the deficit to 5-3 in the fourth when Castro's throwing error on right fielder Randal Grichuk's grounder allowed catcher Yadier Molina to score.

Rizzo slammed his fifth home run of the season in the fifth, a solo shot off Wainwright into the right field seats.

"I was down 0-2 battling off of him and he could throw any pitch there and just luckily I got good wood on it," Rizzo said. "(But) it doesn't matter what I do or what any individual does as long as we continue to get some wins and get back in it."

Wainwright departed after five innings, replaced by left-hander Randy Choate, after allowing six earned runs, 10 hits and two walks while striking out four. It was Wainwright's worst outing since giving up six runs and nine hits in a 7-2 loss at Cincinnati on Sept. 2, 2013.

The day was not a total loss for Wainwright, who worked out of trouble in the fifth when he had runners in scoring position after Rizzo's home run.

"It's a frustrating day when he knows the guys put up some offense for him and he just can't stop them," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "But he limited the damage and figured out ways to keep us in it and we had some chances."

Wood worked seven innings, allowing two earned runs and six hits. He struck out six and walked none.

"We played a great ballgame through and through today," said Wood, who also worked out of several challenging innings. "We got to Wainwright early and even in the middle and towards the end as well."

Sweeney left the game in the eighth after apparently injuring a leg while running to catch first baseman Allen Craig's fly to deep center.

Sweeney was expected to have an MRI. His status for Saturday was unknown.

NOTES: Cardinals RHP Adam Wainwright saw his unbeaten run at Wrigley Field end Friday. He had been tied with Ron Perranoski, Vida Blue and Bobby J. Jones, each with 6-0 records. ... Cardinals starters entered the series tied for second in the National League with a 2.48 ERA. ... Friday's game kicked off a nine-game, 10-day Cardinals road trip that includes stops in Atlanta and Pittsburgh. ... St. Louis sends RHP Michael Wacha (2-2, 2.48 ERA) against Chicago RHP Jake Arrieta (0-0, 0.00 ERA) in Saturday's second game of the series. ... Arrieta was scheduled to make his 2014 debut but still had not been activated off the 15-day disabled list as of Friday morning. He was placed on the disabled list with shoulder stiffness on March 30. ... Cubs SS Starlin Castro was hitting .450 (9-for-20) with two doubles, two home runs and five RBIs since moving into the No. 4 spot on April 25. ... The Cubs still have not captured a series this season, although they have tied two. They last won a series on Aug. 30-Sept. 1, 2013, when they took two of three from the Phillies. ... The Cubs' 17 losses in March/April were the most since a club-record 19 in April 1997.

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