Game Log: Cardinals fall 7-6 to Cubs in offense-driven opener

Game Log: Cardinals fall 7-6 to Cubs in offense-driven opener

Credit: Bryce Moore, BaseballStL

Busch Stadium

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by JJ Bailey / BaseballStL | @TheJJBailey

KMOV.com

Posted on July 25, 2014 at 3:18 PM

Updated Friday, Jul 25 at 6:51 PM

(BaseballStL) — In the ninth, the Cardinals could not overcome the deficit despite a single from Matt Holliday.

After Peralta grounded to third, Holliday put himself aboard for the third time, singling to right center. 

Matt Adams followed by popping out third in foul territory, leaving it up to Daniel Descalso. Hitting in place of the pitcher, the utility man flew out to end the game. 

-- -- -- -- 

Neshek got the first two outs of the eighth easily, striking out Emilio Bonafacio and getting pinch hitter John Baker to ground out to short. 

After leadoff man Chris Coghlan singled up the middle, however, Mike Matheny swapped in Sam Freeman for Neshek. 

The lefty walked Alcantara before hitting Rizzo- the second time the Cubs star was plunked- and was quickly yanked from the game. 

Seth Maness came in with the bases loaded and two outs and struck out Starlin Castro on a 2-2 sinker at the knees. Castro didn't like the call, but the Chicago attack was ended with three men still aboard. 

-- -- -- --

The Cardinals fell short with their best chance in the eighth, stranding a runner at third without tying the contest. 

Kolten Wong pinch hit and picked up a single, then stole second. When Tony Cruz hit a ball to short, Wong was caught in between, and induced a rundown. He was able to stay in it long enough to get Cruz to second before getting caught. 

Peter Bourjos pinch hit next, popping out to the catcher before Matt Carpenter struck out to end the inning. 

-- -- -- -- 

Kevin Siegrist dealt a clean sixth inning, but when he came out for another inning's worth of work, he wasn't so lucky. 

After hitting Anthony Rizzo to lead off the inning, the lefty struck out Starlin Castro with high gas to bring up Luis Valbuena. The lefty got a hold of a pitch, belting it out to left center and giving the Cubs a 7-6 advantage. 

Pat Neshek was called in to replace Siegrist and got Welington Castillo on strikes before Ryan Sweeney grounded out to second. 

-- -- -- -- 

Travis Wood was finally chased from the game in the sixth, when reliever Wesley Wright took the hill to open the inning. 

After a single from Jon Jay, Mark Ellis tried to sacrifice him over. Jay couldn't tell if the ball was popped up enough to be caught, so he hesitated. The bunt dropped and Wright turned to second and threw out Jay. 

Tony Cruz then shattered his bat on a grounder to third, making it two outs. Ellis had moved to second during Cruz's at bat, and when Oscar Taveras pinch hit for Randy Choate, he scored on a single into the left field. 

It was Taveras' sixth RBI of the season, and gave the Cardinals a 6-5 lead. 

-- -- -- -- 

The scoreboard operators are busy at Wrigley, as the Cardinals and Cubs traded solo shots in the fourth and fifth inning. 

First, Travis Wood helped his effort by jacking his third home run of the year, driving in 10 RBIs on the season. 

The rest of the Cubs went down without a fight, but Chicago briefly held a two-run lead. 

In the fifth, Matt Carpenter began the action with a homer of his own, turning on a pitch and taking over the right field wall to close the gap to 5-4. Matt Holliday followed a Peralta strikeout with another homer, tying the game with a blast into the left center seats. 

Matt Adams and Allen Craig both hit balls in the air to the outfield, but neither had enough, and the inning closed knotted at 5-5. 

-- -- -- -- 

Sweeney struck again in the third, driving in a fourth RBI with two out in the frame. 

Tony Cruz caught Anthony Rizzo stealing after a leadoff single, and Startlin Castro took a called third to follow. 

Then in a reprise of the trouble in the second, Kelly Walked Luis Valbuena and gave up a single to Welington Castillo to bring up Sweeney. 

He punched a single into left to score Valbuena, pushing the Cubs ahead 4-3. Nate Schierholtz whiffed to end the inning, but Sweeney's average has climbed 10 points in two at bats. 

-- -- -- -- 

Compared to Wood's 66 pitches in two innings, Joe Kelly was cruising. His first inning took just 17 pitches and he seemed to be in control the whole way. 

In the second, he walked the leadoff man to begin the frame, then gave up a single to Welington Castillo one hitter later to put men on the corners. 

Ryan Sweeney stepped in to follow, hitting .214 so far on the year. 

After fouling off a 1-2 curveball, the Chicago center fielder punched a his second home run of the season, a three-run shot that tied the game. 

 -- -- -- -- 

The Cardinals got to work on Travis Wood early Friday, with two singles up the middle in the first three hitters. 

Matt Carpenter and Matt Holliday each shot balls into center, while Jhonny Peralta hit a sky high pop up to third. 

Matt Adams stepped in and pulled a ball between first baseman Anthony Rizzo and Arismendy Alcantara. Though the young second baseman gloved the grounder, his throw to second for the double play sailed into left field, scoring Carpenter and leaving two on with only one out. 

Allen Craig took a called third he didn't agree with before Jon Jay reached out to shoot a ball down the left field line. It scored Holliday, and as Adams rounded third, Chris Coghlan couldn't get the ball off the ground against the wall. 

When he did, his throw sailed bounced wildly, and Jay took third. 

The scoring would end there as Mark Ellis would line softly to first, but the Cardinals closed their half of the inning with three unearned runs. 

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