But, even with this victory, there was a downside. Shortstop David Eckstein, who has led off in every game he's started for the Cardinals in the two seasons he's been with them, suffered a strained left oblique muscle while sliding into Cubs' catcher Michael Barrett as he scored a third-inning run.
Eckstein surely won't play in the rest of the series and might be doubtful for the next series starting in New York on Tuesday.
With Jim Edmonds suffering from post-concussion syndrome and with the Cardinals' record 17-28 in games started by opposing left-handers, the pickup of right-handed-hitting Preston Wilson should be a lift. Wilson, 32, was hitting .312 against left-handers when he was with Houston, when they waived him. Wilson hit .269 with nine homers and 55 runs batted in for Houston, although he fanned 94 times and walked just 22.
"When left-handers start, you can expect to see Preston play," said manager Tony La Russa, who played Wilson against a right-handed pitcher anyway Friday.
And Wilson made a good first impression, hitting one of the six homers the Cardinals clouted, besides singling and stealing second in his first Cardinals at-bat.
"It seems like some of the work you've put in is finally starting to pay off," said Wilson, who has 10 total homers for the season, counting his nine with Houston. "It's great to be here.
"I was a little shocked (to be playing Friday), but I was ready."
REPLAY: Jason Marquis gave up two homers and a triple over five innings, but they were the only hits he allowed as he gained his 13th victory, tying him for the National League lead, by beating the Chicago Cubs 11-3 on Friday.
--2B Ron Belliard, RF Preston Wilson and C Gary Bennett all hit their first homers as a Cardinal. Only Bennett has been with St. Louis all season.
--RHP Jason Marquis snapped a four-game losing streak. In his last two starts, he has given up six hits in 11 innings, four of them home runs.
--Counting a one-game carryover from last season, the Cardinals had lost eight games in a row at Wrigley Field.
--RHP Anthony Reyes was sent to Triple-A Memphis for the third time this season when the Cardinals signed OF Preston Wilson. Reyes is 4-6 with a 4.73 earned run average in 12 starts, but is likely to be brought back to be eligible for potential postseason play.
The Cardinals are down to 11 pitchers for the first time this season.
--CF Jim Edmonds, who has missed three games with post-concussion syndrome, is close to being able to play this weekend.
--LHP Mark Mulder allowed five runs and walked five over four innings in an unimpressive rehab start for Triple-A Memphis at Oklahoma City on Thursday, although he did throw 92 pitches. He is recovering from shoulder problems.