Cubs 4, Cardinals 2(10)

Anthony Rizzo checked off another milestone as he continues to

live up to the hype.

Rizzo hit a two-run homer in the 10th inning and lifted the

Chicago Cubs over the St. Louis Cardinals 4-2 on Sunday.

Starlin Castro led off the inning with a single against Trevor

Rosenthal (0-1), and Rizzo followed with his seventh homer – and

first game-ender.

”This is the best,” an elated Rizzo said. ”This is something

I’ve always dreamed of doing since I was a little kid. I’ve never

done it before. Not in the minors, not in little league, not

ever.

”This is awesome.”

James Russell (5-0) worked an inning for the win. The Cubs are

12-3 in their last 15 home games, and 17-10 since Rizzo was called

up in June.

The 22-year-old slugger didn’t remember running around the bases

or getting mobbed by teammates at the plate. He maintained his

presence of mind leading up to the big hit.

”Later innings, guys press a little harder. I see a lot of

veteran hitters throughout baseball always just relaxed at the

plate, taking pitches and not being too aggressive,” Rizzo said.

”That’s something I took into this at-bat.

”I’m always a little overanxious in situations like that, and

took a clean swing and let the rest take care of itself.”

A struggling Carlos Beltran homered off Shawn Camp with one out

in the St. Louis eighth, tying it at 2. The opposite-field solo

shot was his 23rd homer, but just his third in July. The All-Star

is hitting .188 this month.

Cubs starter Paul Maholm allowed one run and four hits over 6

2-3 innings. He walked four and struck out five.

Maholm exited with the bases loaded in the seventh, and Manny

Corpas retired Allen Craig on a fly ball to end the threat.

Maholm has allowed one run or fewer in six straight starts,

becoming the first lefty in modern Cubs history to do so. He had

won the previous five outings.

”He is arguably the best pitcher in the last month in all of

baseball,” Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. ”That’s the best lineup

in the National League and by far the best right-handed hitting

lineup in the National League, too.

”He did one heck of a job against the best.”

Even with trade rumors flying around, the rebuilding Cubs have

kept on winning.

”There’s a reason I signed here. I’ve always enjoyed playing

here throughout my career,” Maholm said. ”They gave me a chance

to come in and prove that I was healthy, and I am. Hopefully we can

turn this into a long-term thing. We’ll see how everything unfolds

and go from there.”

Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright gave up two runs in six

innings. He wasn’t fooling anybody early, allowing six of the first

nine batters to reach base.

David DeJesus tripled in the first and scored on Castro’s

groundout. Darwin Barney doubled in the second and scored on an

error in the second.

Barney had two doubles and a single.

Wainwright settled down to retire 12 of his final 14

batters.

”No fastball control whatsoever. Luckily, I had a good breaking

ball and a good cutter going,” Wainwright said. ”Early on we had

to make some adjustments on how we were going to attack guys and

try to figure out a way to make it work.”

Beltran’s homer got Wainwright off the hook for what could have

been his first loss in 13 career appearances at Wrigley Field.

Wainwright is 5-0 at the ballpark, including his 20th win in 2010

when he finished second in the NL Cy Young voting.

The Cardinals threatened several times but were largely unable

to get the big hit, leaving 10 men on base.

”(Maholm) kept us off balance,” Cardinals manager Mike Matheny

said. ”He did a nice job of pitching, mixed up everything – used

both sides of the plate, up and down. We couldn’t get anything

going.”

Despite a throwing error that allowed Barney to score in the

second, shortstop Daniel Descalso made several exceptional

defensive plays, including a dazzling diving stab and throw in the

third to rob Rizzo of a hit.

NOTES: Cardinals SS Rafael Furcal (back tightness) missed a

second straight game. Trainer Greg Hauck said he doesn’t expect it

to be an extended absence. … Cardinals 1B Lance Berkman (general

soreness) was also held out of the starting lineup, but he

pinch-hit in the seventh, drawing a walk. He was immediately

removed for a pinch-runner. … Sveum is still undecided on his

Monday starter against Pittsburgh, but said it will most likely be

Justin Germano (0-1, 1.04 ERA), who was acquired from Boston on

July 19. The Pirates send Erik Bedard (5-11, 4.32) to the mound for

the series opener. … St. Louis’ Kyle Lohse (10-2, 2.71) will face

Jeff Francis (3-2, 4.97) in the series opener at Colorado on

Tuesday.