After a last-minute lineup change by manager
Tony La Russa
, Edmonds and Pujols homered four pitches apart to give the Cardinals the lead for good.
hit St. Louis' other homer, a solo shot that made it 6-1 in the third.
hit three home runs in a game for the first time in his 11-year career, but the reeling Cubs couldn't overcome a porous effort by Wood (8-6), who allowed seven runs and 12 runners in three-plus innings.
"Kerry didn't have his good stuff, which is a rarity for him," Martinez said. "The key for a team like us when we face a great pitcher is that we take advantage of any situations that are out there."
Wood was pulled after walking the first three batters in the fourth. He gave up six hits and six walks while throwing only 39 of 81 pitches for strikes. He also matched his shortest outing in over two years.
"I let the team down for more than just this one game," he said. "By coming out as early as I did, I depleted our bullpen for the next day or two, and that could hurt us trying to win the next couple of days."
Martinez drove in four runs and rookie
went 3-for-4 with a pair of RBI, helping the Cardinals to their second straight win following a three-game losing streak.
(5-5) picked up the victory, yielding three runs and seven hits in six innings. He also had two hits and scored a run.
Alou hit solo homers in the second and fourth and a three-run shot in the ninth, but the Cubs lost for the eighth time in 10 games and fell more than a game out of first place for the first time since April 13.
Chicago began the day a game behind St. Louis and Houston in the National League Central.
It really never was a game after the first inning, which began after a late lineup change as La Russa shifted Edmonds from fourth to second, Martinez from sixth to fourth,
from seventh to sixth and
from second to seventh.
The moves paid off as the four players combined to go 6-for-18 with two homers, six RBI and four runs scored.
La Russa's changes paid immediate dividends as Edmonds hit Wood's third pitch of the game over the wall in right-center field, opening the scoring with his 26th homer.
Wood brushed back Pujols with a 1-0 pitch, then surrendered his 25th home run, a blast to center field.
That was the beginning of the end for Wood, who walked a pair of batters in the second. Both scored during a three-run frame that included an RBI single by Tomko that made it 5-0.
"The sign of a good team is to take advantage of good pitchers when they are not at their peak," La Russa said. "That's why I give our guys credit today. We took a lot of good swings at him, we gave Brett a lot of runs to work with."
Wood threw a strike to start the third inning but followed with three straight balls. Martinez sent his next pitch over the ivy in right-center for a 6-1 cushion.
After stranding a pair of runners in the third, Wood walked Hart, Edmonds and Pujols to start the fourth, throwing 12 of 18 pitches for balls. By then, Cubs manager
had seen enough.
"That doesn't happen too often to Woody," Baker said. "But seven or eight times out of the year, even for great pitchers, they'll go out there with less than average stuff. Give the Cardinals credit, they took advantage of it."
Martinez added a sacrifice fly off
to make it 7-1.
Alou and Karros hit solo shots of Tomko to get the Cubs within 7-3 in the sixth and
added a two-run shot off
in the seventh, but Martinez put away the game in the eighth.
Enjoying his hottest stretch of the season, Martinez singled home a pair of runs to make it 9-5. He went 3-for-4 and is batting .357 (41-for-115) in his last 33 games.
and Hart added RBI singles in the ninth for an 11-5 lead. Hart had at least three hits for the sixth time in 15 major league games and increased his batting average to .412 (28-for-68).
The only positive for the Cubs was Alou, who went 3-for-5 with a career high-tying five RBI. He had 22 two-homer games, most recently last August 10 in Colorado.
"To be honest, it takes away a lot of the fun of a good day when you lose," he said. "I won't be going out and celebrating anything after hitting three home runs. We all need to get ready, get our rest and prepare for two more difficult games."