Right-hander Kyle Lohse improved his record to 16-3, best winning percentage (.842) in the majors. Right-hander Jason Motte became the first National Leaguer to 40 saves. But numbers less ostentatious, 1 and 2, were the key numbers of the Cardinals' 6-3 win over Chicago Sunday.
Rookie shortstop Pete Kozma, entrusted with the position on a daily basis now with veteran Rafael Furcal out for the season with a torn ligament in his right elbow, delivered his second multi-RBI game since he came up from Class AAA Memphis. Kozma belted his first homer to put the Cardinals ahead 4-2 in the seventh, and he delivered a bases-loaded sacrifice fly in a two-run eighth for his second RBI of the game.
Kozma admitted he was a "little excited" when he was more or less given the regular shortstop job. He had played more of his season at second base at Memphis.
"I think I've calmed down and I think I've got my bearings." Kozma said.
Manager Mike Matheny said he had been impressed both with how the former first-round draft pick was moving around at the position and with the good at-bats he was taking in the No. 8 spot in the lineup.
Pitching the Cardinals to their sixth win in their last seven games, Lohse worked a creditable six innings. He had to work at it, though, needing 102 pitches to make it that far.
But, his career-high 16th win was virtually in the bank when the three-headed late-inning bullpen of right-handers Edward Mujica, Mitchell Boggs and Motte each worked a scoreless inning from 7 through 9.
Lohse, appearing for the first time at Wrigley Field since 2009, said he "pitched around some kind of crazy things happening." The Cardinals had three infield misplays behind Lohse, but none led to a run.
With nine games remaining, the Cardinals maintain a 2 1/2-game lead over Milwaukee for the second wild-card spot in the National League.