First, there was the Marquis who was the National League's leading winner at 12 games. That Marquis breezed through the first three innings at Chicago, allowing only two baserunners, one of which was gobbled up in a double play.
Then, there was the Marquis whose earned run average was 5.97 before his last start. This Marquis threw for the cycle in a six-run Chicago fourth inning.
Marquis almost got out of the fourth ahead 3-1, but Cubs John Mabry, a former Cardinals teammate of Marquis, smacked a two-run, game-tying homer. Then Marquis allowed singles to Angel Pagan and Ronny Cedeno before Scott Rolen committed his second error in two days, throwing poorly on a grounder by pitcher Carlos Marmol.
Juan Pierre made Rolen and Marquis pay by clearing the bases with a triple.
The Cardinals rallied as Juan Encarnacion, who has had RBIs in the first two games of the series, doubled home two runs in the seventh, but a 6-5 loss was their eighth in 11 meetings with the lowly Cubs.
REPLAY: Albert Pujols, a .446 hitter with men in scoring position, doubled to cap a two-run third inning that gave the Cardinals an early lead. They stretched that lead to 3-0 before Jason Marquis came unglued in a six-run Cubs fourth inning that led to a 6-5 Chicago triumph.
The final three runs in that inning were unearned because of a throwing error by Scott Rolen, but Marquis also allowed six hits in the fourth, including a three-run triple by Cubs center fielder Juan Pierre.
NOTES --LHP Mark Mulder, out since late June with a shoulder impingement, may be ready for a rehabilitation start next Sunday if he gets through a simulated game on Tuesday in St. Louis.
--RHP Chris Carpenter, making a second-half bid to repeat as the National League's Cy Young Award winner, will face one of his top competitors, Chicago's Carlos Zambrano, in Chicago on Sunday. Carpenter, 10-4 after a slow start -- when he had a balky shoulder -- is 4-0 with a 2.23 earned run average in July. "I'm excited about the way I'm throwing the ball and the way I feel right now," he said.
--OF Larry Bigbie, pulled off of a medical rehabilitation option when he experienced more abdominal discomfort, is about to report back to Double-A Springfield. Bigbie still is recovering from surgery for an umbilical hernia after missing much of spring training and the early part of the season with a stress fracture in his foot.
--RHP Josh Kinney, up only four weeks, had his best outing in the majors, fanning three and giving up only one hit over 2 1/3 innings of relief Friday.
--After having 18 baserunners and only four runs on Thursday, the Cardinals drew seven walks from RHP Carlos Marmol, the Cubs' starter, on Friday. They were able to plate just two of them.