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For the first time since the Don Baylor era, the Cubs swept their arch-rivals the St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday, taking advantage of faulty relief pitching for the second straight day to erase a late-inning deficit en route to an 8-4 victory at Wrigley Field.

Michael Barrett provided the heroics, crushing a grand slam in the eighth inning off a Cardinal bullpen that allowed eight runs in the series' final two games.

Leading 4-3 entering the inning, the St. Louis ‘pen walked three batters to load the bases before Barrett hit his second career grand slam. (His first came on May 28, 2004 at Wrigley against the Pirates and Mike Johnston.)

The Cubs scored seven of their eight runs courtesy of the long ball. Jacque Jones broke a 0-for-13 slump to start his Cubs career by hitting a line drive, three-run homer just to the left of straight away center to erase an early 2-0 deficit in the fourth inning. The Cubs hit five home runs in the series.

Barrett, Jones and second baseman Todd Walker all finished with two hits. Shortstop Ronny Cedeno continued his hot start by going 4-for-4 with a double. He finished the series 7-for-11 and is batting .556 through his first five games.

Making his major league debut, left-hander Sean Marshall was tagged for four runs and four hits in 4 1/3 innings. Marshall threw 65 pitches; 42 strikes.

The Cubs bullpen gave up five hits the rest of the way with right-hander Scott Williamson earning his first regular season win since July 28, 2003. The bullpen went the entire series without allowing a run, pitching 10 1/3 innings combined.

Manager Dusty Baker won his 1,110th career game and the Cubs improved to 4-1, with the Cardinals falling to 3-3 and likely to cry foul over an alleged lack of hot water in the visitor's clubhouse rather than admit to poor performance on the field.

The Cubs are 13-6 against the Cardinals since the start of last season. The two teams will meet again later this month on the 21st-23rd at the new Busch Stadium. The Cubs earned their first sweep of the Cardinals since June 7 of 2001.

With an off-day Monday, the Cubs will host Cincinnati beginning Tuesday at 1:20 p.m. CDT. The game can be seen on Comcast Sports Net. Glendon Rusch is scheduled to make his second start of the year against Cincinnati's Bronson Arroyo.

E-mail Steve Holley: staff@insidetheivy.com.


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