MLB Insiders - Cards Drop Game 1 to Cubs

C Yadier Molina, who had been hitting .176, singled four times, matching his career high. It was his first game of more than two hits this season. He also threw out his eighth base-stealer of the 18 who have tried.

MLB Insiders

The Cardinals, playing shorthanded because of illness (Scott Spiezio) and injury (Jim Edmonds), let Josh Hancock, their eighth pitcher, stand at the plate and take five straight pitches with the bases loaded and one out in a tie game in the 12th inning Friday.

Hancock, the club's final pitcher, presumably, did stay out of the double play by striking out. But David Eckstein left the bases loaded for the second time by grounding into a force out.

The Chicago Cubs hung on and scored in the 14th on an infield out and then the Cardinals batted for Hancock with a man and two out in the bottom of the 14th. Pinch-hitter Gary Bennett fanned -- his seventh strikeout in his last nine at-bats -- and the Cubs had a 5-4 win.

Jason Isringhausen missed out on his 12th straight save when Scott Rolen, who had knocked in two runs with a double in the seventh, whiffed on a potential game-ending double play ball in the ninth.

REPLAY: Hector Luna couldn't catch up to Chicago center fielder Juan Pierre's double to left center in the 14th inning. Pierre went to third on a sacrifice and scored on an infield out by Todd Walker as the Cubs beat the Cardinals for the fifth time in seven meetings.

The Cardinals' bullpen allowed only one earned run over the last eight innings, but it was the one that made Josh Hancock a loser for the second time in a week, despite Hancock pitching four impressive innings.

NOTES

--Veteran OF Timo Perez was purchased from Triple-A Memphis, where he was hitting .318, to help an outfield situation weakened by the abdominal injury to CF Jim Edmonds. RHP Anthony Reyes, impressive in two starts, was sent back to Memphis so that he could take his regular turn.

--RHP Chris Carpenter, who has experienced no recent discomfort from the bursitis that placed him on the disabled list, is expected to be able to take his turn on Tuesday against Cincinnati. If OF Jim Edmonds hasn't shown improvement, he could be disabled then, backdated to last Monday.

--The Cardinals closed May with a 17-11 mark, marking their 16th consecutive non-losing month.

--INF/OF Scott Spiezio again was not even at the park because of a respiratory ailment similar to the one that cost Scott Rolen nine games earlier this season. Spiezio was hospitalized on Thursday night.

--RHP Jason Isringhausen's streak of consecutive saves was snapped at 11 when Scott Rolen booted a double-play ball, allowing the two tying runs to score in the ninth inning. Isringhausen had put himself in trouble by walking two hitters in the inning.

--C Yadier Molina, who had been hitting .176, singled four times, matching his career high. It was his first game of more than two hits this season. He also threw out his eighth base-stealer of the 18 who have tried.


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