CHICAGO (AP) -When the
are in need of a big hit late in a game,
is the man they want at the plate.
Ramirez was 0-for-5 before hitting a game-winning, two-run homer in the 11th inning to give the Cubs a 7-5 victory against
the St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday.
''It seems like every time there is a big moment in the game and Rammy is up he is winning the game for us,'' Cubs shortstop
said. ''He definitely has the flare for the dramatics and a knack to win games.''
(0-1), a left-hander normally used to face lefties, was forced to face to some right-handed batters with the Cardinals bullpen
worn thin in the 11th inning.
leading off, then
bunted into a fielder's choice.
With two outs, Ramirez hit a 1-0 pitch from Reyes into the left-center bleachers for his third homer.
''It wasn't fair, but if a guy can pull it off it's him,'' said Cardinals manager
Tony La Russa
about putting Reyes in a tough spot. ''He's got a ton of experience.''
Khalil Green homered for the Cardinals, who have dropped the last two games after winning the opener of a four-game series
against the Cubs.
On Friday, trailing 7-6, Soriano hit a two-run home run to help give the Cubs a 8-7 victory.
''Execution has to improve. Same thing yesterday,'' said La Russa. ''They (Cubs) walked the leadoff man in the 10th and 11th
inning and got away with it. That's where our execution has to improve. Their execution was better than ours.''
(1-0) pitched a scoreless 11th inning for his first career victory and Theriot had three hits for the Cubs.
The win ties Cubs with the Cardinals for first place in NL-Central.
''You win now, you have less to worry about in September. One win now counts the same as a win in September,'' Ramirez said.
couldn't hold a 4-1 lead.
Theriot tripled to leadoff the fifth and
drove him in with a grounder back to Lohse.
With two outs, Lohse walked Soriano and Fukudome, and
doubled down the left-field line to tie the score at 4.
The Cubs took the lead in the sixth inning off Cardinals reliever
. With two outs,
walked, Theriot singled and Miles followed with an RBI single off his former team to break a 4-all tie.
But the lead didn't last long for the Cubs.
retired the middle of the Cardinals order when he entered with two on and none out in the seventh, but allowed consecutive
in the eighth to tie the score.
Fukudome's double in the third drove in Soriano for the Cubs' first run.
Lohse was unable to back up a career-best three-hitter in a 3-0 win to Houston on Sunday. He allowed four runs on five hits
in a no-decision. He had four strikeouts and walked two.
''It was one of those games where he (Lohse) had trouble finishing guys,'' La Russa said.
, who was 14-3 and a 2.86 ERA at Wrigley Field last season, had a so-so first home start of 2009.
He gave up back-to-back walks to start the third inning, and after Lohse popped up a bunt attempt,
singled in a run.
With two outs, Dempster walked
to load the bases and
extended his hitting streak to 21-games with a two-run single to put the Cardinals up 3-0.
Greene led off the fourth inning with his second homer of the season.
Dempster eventually settled down and retired nine of the last 10 batters he faced.
Notes: Cubs OF
has been suspended two games for arguing balls and strikes and making contact with umpire Larry Vanover. The discipline announced
Saturday by Major League Baseball stems from an outburst in Thursday's loss to the Cardinals. Bradley was caught looking at
a called third strike with the bases loaded while pinch hitting in the sixth inning. Bradley, who was out of the starting
lineup for the fifth straight game, will appeal the suspension. He grounded out in a pinch-hit appearance in the ninth. ...
Newly acquired Bears quarterback Jay Cutler threw the ceremonial first pitch and sang the seventh-inning stretch. ... Pujols
went 0-for-4 with a walk.