In front of another sell out crowd at the new Busch Stadium, the Cardinals defeated the Cubs by a score of 9-6, to avoid a second series sweep by Chicago this season. The Cubs took three in a row from the Cards the first weekend of the season at Wrigley Field.
Jason Marquis (8-4), managed to win his fifth straight start despite a season-high five walks. In five innings Marquis surrendered five runs and gave up eight hits while striking out five.
"My mechanics were a little off," Marquis said. "I was lucky to get out of there with a win."
At this point the Cardinals will take a little luck and they need it with Albert Pujols on the sideline indefinitely with a strained muscle on his right side.
Pujols could miss up to six weeks, giving Cardinal fans some reason for concern.
Albert Pujols has a whopping 65 RBI this season which is tops in the Majors, and the Cardinals offense without Pujols' bat in the lineup, isn't going to keep opposing team's pitchers up all night before a game.
Pujols has a Major League leading 16 go-ahead RBI and 13 game winning RBI, including 11 in the team's last 26 wins and 11 of Pujols' 25 home runs have given the Cardinals the lead.
Looking up and down the Cardinals lineup at the big bats of, Scott Rolen (.333 6 HRs 33 RBI), Juan Encarnacion (.249 7 HRs 26 RBI), and the injured Jim Edmonds (.257 5 HRs 31 RBI) and it's hard to see who is going to step up and generate the offense needed to offset the loss of Albert Pujols.
There is some good news, Chris Carpenter is set to come off the disabled list from bursitis in his back on Tuesday in time to make his start against the Reds. Carpenter won 21 games and the NL Cy Young Award last year and after an extended bullpen session on Friday, Chris indicated he's ready to pitch.
Rookie Chris Duncan, the son of pitching coach Dave Duncan was recalled from Triple-A Memphis in time for Sunday's game against the Chicago Cubs. Duncan, beginning his second stint with the team this season, was batting .272 in 42 games with six homers and 25 RBIs with Memphis.
Scott Spiezio missed the entire weekend series, with the Cubs and wasn't even in at ballpark on Sunday, missing his fifth straight game with an upper respiratory infection.
According to sources, Spiezio is expected to join the team early next week, but it's unlikely that he will be available to start before next weekend.
With the win on Sunday, the Cardinals maintained a three game lead over the Reds who will be in St. Louis for a three game set on Monday.
The Reds come into Busch Stadium with a 17-13 road record and a four game winning streak.