Cubs Look To Bounce Back After Loss to Cards
(AP) — The Chicago Cubs out-hit the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday night, but weren’t able to convert those hits into enough runs to get a victory.
After Albert Pujols’ season-high four-hit game, he and the Cardinals continue their three-game series against the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday night at Wrigley Field.
St. Louis (21-15) has won four of five and nine of 13, including a 6-4 victory over Chicago (15-19) in Tuesday’s series opener.
Before the game, the Cardinals announced that Tony La Russa has been diagnosed with shingles. He is expected to miss the remaining two games at Wrigley and the next three in Cincinnati so he can rest and allow medication to take effect.
La Russa had been having trouble with vision in his right eye, in addition to facial swelling and pain. Bench coach Joe Pettini will run the Cardinals in his absence.
“We were glad when he finally went out to find out what’s going on with him,” Pettini said. “Hopefully taking the week off will help him get over this thing for good and hopefully when we get back he’s ready to step back in the dugout.”
The Cardinals did fine without La Russa on Tuesday thanks to Pujols, who had four hits to raise his batting average 20 points to .268, and Daniel Descalso, who hit a two-out, bases-loaded single in the eighth off Kerry Wood to break open a tie game.
Pujols’ multi-hit game – only his second in his last 11 contests – helped Chris Carpenter pick up his first victory of the season.
The Cubs racked up 13 hits, but all of them were singles. They also failed to record an extra-base hit in their previous game, a 2-0 loss to Cincinnati on Sunday.
“Probably more upset about the defense, some of the plays we didn’t make,” manager Mike Quade said.
Cubs catcher Geovany Soto left with a groin strain in the first inning of the series opener. He’s scheduled to undergo an MRI on Wednesday, and Quade expects him to miss a few games.
Jake Westbrook (2-2, 6.14 ERA) will take the mound for the Cardinals.
The right-hander has a 2.45 ERA in his last three starts. St. Louis has won all three, but he only got credit for one of the victories. Westbrook failed to earn the decision in Thursday’s 6-3 home victory over Florida, in which he allowed three runs over 6 1-3 innings and struck out a season-high eight.
Westbrook’s only two career starts against the Cubs came last season. He won both while allowing five earned runs over 11 1-3 innings.
He’ll be opposed by Matt Garza (1-4, 4.43), who will once again try for his first win at Wrigley. He’s 0-2 with a 3.24 ERA in four home starts.
Garza gave up five runs in six innings of a 5-4 home defeat to Cincinnati on Friday.
The right-hander’s only previous start against the Cardinals came in 2008, when he allowed seven runs and 10 hits in 4 1-3 innings of a 10-inning loss for Tampa Bay.
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