ST. LOUIS (AP) — Ryan Theriot regained his hitting touch at the expense of his old teammates.
Theriot, who broke a 2-for-38 slump with two hits after coming in as a pinch-hitter Friday, rapped four hits and drove in three runs Saturday to help the St. Louis Cardinals overcome a five-run deficit in a 13-5 victory over the Chicago Cubs.
“It’s been a rough couple of weeks,” Theriot said. “You search and look for something that’s wrong and you realize it’s nothing and get back to what you were doing.”
Theriot said he sat down recently with teammate Skip Schumaker and the left-hander showed him a few things.
“I don’t want to go into any details. It’s a secret,” Theriot quipped. “It’s just good to have some fresh eyes.”
Theriot is 6 for 7 with six RBIs against his former team in two games and is hitting .571 against the Cubs.
“It’s funny because they said he was in a big slump,” Cubs third baseman Aramis Ramirez said. “I guess he picked the right time to get for him and the wrong time for us.”
St. Louis manager Tony La Russa said Theriot is playing like he did earlier this season.
“He gets base hits and he gets clutch hits. That’s what he did the whole first half and he just went into this funk,” La Russa said. “This looks more like him. He’s spraying the ball all over.”
Albert Pujols and David Freese each homered for the Cardinals. They have won six in a row over the Cubs, who have lost five consecutive games.
It was the 432nd homer of Pujols’ career and came one day after he reached 2,000 hits. The home run places him alone in 40th place on the career list. He just missed getting a second one when the ball sailed just outside the left-field foul pole in the seventh inning.
Kyle Lohse (9-7) pitched five innings before being lifted for a pinch-hitter. He allowed five runs — none earned — and gave up two hits.
Chicago was unable to score again and did not get another hit until the ninth inning.
St. Louis sent 12 men to the plate in the fifth and scored eight runs on four hits to take a 10-5 and chase starter Rodrigo Lopez (2-3), who pitched 4 1-3 innings.
Theriot got two of his hits in the big inning and drove in two runs. He singled with one out and John Jay followed with a double. Pujols was given an intentional walk to load the bases. Matt Holliday walked to score Theriot.
Reliever Jeff Samardzija entered and Freese hit a grounder to second baseman Darwin Barney, who threw to shortstop Starlin Castro to start a double play. However, a hard slide by Holliday took out Castro as Jay scored. As he was lying on the infield, Pujols scooted home to tie it at 5.
Cubs manager Mike Quade come out to argue and was ejected by second base umpire Derryl Cousins.
“There’s not much to talk about,” Quade said. “I disagreed with Derry’s assessment that it was a clean play. I think that’s why they have the rule in place. There wasn’t an attempt at the bag and he got a pretty good piece of Castro as well.
“That was a huge play obviously in the game, too. It gets us out of there with a 5-3 lead.”
After Schumaker walked, Yadier Molina singled to center and took second on the throw home. Daniel Descalso was intentionally walked to load the bases. Tony Cruz pinch-hit for Lohse and drew the third walk by Samardzija to force in Schumaker.
Theriot drove in the final two runs with a double to left field. Cruz scored on a throwing error by left fielder Alfonso Soriano.
“That was a heck of an at-bat he had against Samardzija,” La Russa said about Theriot. “That to me was one of the big at-bats to the game that big guy’s throwing 94-95. That was as big as anything that happened.”
John Russell relieved Samardzija, who walked three and gave up four runs and two hits in one-third on an inning, and struck out Jay to end the inning.
Freese hit a two-run homer in the sixth for a 12-5 St. Louis advantage. St. Louis added a run in the seventh when Theriot hit his second double.
The Cardinals began chipping away at the early Cubs lead with two runs in the first. Pujols blasted a two-out solo homer. His last four home runs have all come in the first inning. Holliday followed with a double and he scored on Schumaker’s single to center.
Chicago jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the first inning. Shortstop Daniel Descalso booted leadoff hitter Castro’s grounder. After a sacrifice, Lohse walked two batters before getting Marlon Byrd to pop out to second. Geovany Soto then hit a two-run double to center before Soriano cleared the bases with a home run to left field.
NOTES: Theriot, who has been charged with a team-high 16 errors at shortstop, started at second base for the first time this season. … St. Louis’ right fielder Lance Berkman did not play Saturday as he remained sidelined with a strained right shoulder. Berkman has started just one of the first six games on the homestand. … With their five runs in the first, the Cubs have scored 63 runs, making it their most productive frame of year. … After allowing two St. Louis runs in the first inning, Chicago now has surrendered 87 first-inning runs, the most of any team in baseball. … Molina hit into a double play in the fourth to raise the Cardinals’ major-league leading total to 114. … Chicago committed two errors in the loss giving them a major-league leading 93 for the season.
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