Cardinals 3, Cubs 2(10)

After losing a victory, Carlos Zambrano lost his cool.

The volatile Cubs starter criticized closer Carlos Marmol for

giving Ryan Theriot a pitch to hit on the RBI double that kept the

St. Louis Cardinals alive for another timely shot from Albert

Pujols. The All-Star slugger hit a game-ending homer in extra

innings for the second straight day, beating the Cubs with a

leadoff shot in the 10th inning of a 3-2 victory Sunday.

”The problem wasn’t Pujols, the problem was the previous

at-bat,” Zambrano said. ”We’re playing like a Triple-A team. This

is embarrassing.”

Zambrano said Marmol should know Theriot, who played for Chicago

for six seasons, can’t catch up to his fastball. Marmol shook off a

sign for the fastball and Theriot lined a slider down the

left-field line.

”I made a mistake,” Marmol said. ”The pitch was right down

the middle. I missed with my best pitch and he got a hit. I mean,

what can you say?”

Earlier in the at-bat, catcher Koyie Hill and third baseman

Aramis Ramirez visited the mound. Hill said it was to help Marmol

relax.

”We should know that Ryan Theriot is not a good fastball

hitter. We should know that as a team,” Zambrano said. ”We should

play better here. We stink. That’s all I have to say.”

Pujols hammered a 2-1 belt-high fastball from Rodrigo Lopez

(0-1) an estimated 446 feet to left for his 10th career game-ending

homer. His fifth during a seven-game homestand and No. 13 for the

season gave the Cardinals a three-game sweep over the scuffling

Cubs, who have lost nine of 11.

”You hitch up your belt and you go to Cincinnati and you say

they’re going to pay,” Quade said. ”It’s the only thing you can

do.”

The Cardinals were down to their last strike before Theriot’s

hit, driving in pinch-runner Tony Cruz from first. Theriot extended

his hitting streak to 19 games, the Cardinals’ longest since Pujols

hit in 30 straight in 2009.

Marmol has two blown save opportunities in his last three

appearances and is 10 for 14 overall. He had worked a

franchise-record 26 1-3 consecutive scoreless innings on the road

before Theriot’s hit on a 2-2 pitch.

”Yeah, I feel good,” Marmol said. ”It’s not about how I feel,

it’s about the mistake I made. It bothers me.”

Zambrano pitched seven crisp innings, yielding one run and five

hits. The right-hander is 7-1 with a 1.29 ERA in 13 career starts

in St. Louis.

Ramirez returned from a two-game absence with a two-run double

in the fourth for the lone damage against hard-luck Cardinals ace

Chris Carpenter.

Pujols homered twice on Saturday, with his drive off Jeff

Samardzija sending the Cardinals to a 5-4 victory in 12 innings.

Pujols also had an infield hit in the sixth Sunday and scored on

Allen Craig’s base hit.

Pujols had been 0 for 12 against Lopez with three strikeouts and

one RBI on a sacrifice fly.

”You’re just saying ‘OK, who best to start this thing off by

getting him out?”’ Quade said. ”Let’s take a shot with Lopey.

Sometimes, the numbers do lie.”

Fernando Salas (3-0) worked a perfect 10th against the top of

the Cubs’ order.

Carpenter pitched nine innings, surrendering seven hits and two

walks. He finished strong, retiring eight of the last nine batters

with the lone baserunner coming on a walk.

The 36-year-old right-hander has won at least 15 games in all of

his healthy seasons since 2004, but remained stuck on his lone win

May 10 against the Cubs.

Ramirez was back in the fifth slot after recovering from a

lacerated lip sustained when he got hit in the face by the ball

making a diving attempt on a grounder. Darwin Barney and Starlin

Castro singled to begin the fourth and both scored when Ramirez

lined a 2-2 pitch into the right-center gap with one out.

The Cubs had only one other runner in scoring position against

Carpenter. Zambrano walked with one out in the fifth and went to

second on Barney’s two-out infield hit before Castro grounded into

a force play.

NOTES: The Cubs have scored two or fewer runs in five of the

last 11 games, losing the other four. … Cardinals RF Lance

Berkman was out of the lineup after receiving a cortisone shot to

his left wrist, injured in a diving catch last month, and Colby

Rasmus also did not start in CF due to fatigue, according to

manager Tony La Russa. … Craig was 1 for 4 with his ninth RBI in

10 games.