ST. LOUIS (Ticker) --
did everything he could to snap his personal two-game skid, but the
bullpen was not equal to the task.
's two-run single erased a deficit and
scored on a wild pitch to lift the St. Louis Cardinals to a 4-2 victory over the Cubs.
With just one win in his previous five decisions, Wood was masterful in this one, allowing just four hits and four walks in seven innings. He struck out 11 for his ninth double-digit strikeout game of the season and 35th of his career.
"I got in some jams early and walked a couple of guys," Wood said. "But I was able to pitch out of it and continue to go. That probably kept me from going deep in the game."
"His performance was great," Cubs manager
said. "He got out of early trouble. He got some key strikes when he needed them. That's his best performance he's had in four or five outings. It's a very positive sign for Woody down the stretch."
But with the Cubs carrying a 2-0 lead into the eighth inning, the bullpen imploded. Five relievers combined to allow four runs and three hits, including Martinez's single to right field that knotted the contest.
"It's always great to come up in those situations," Martinez said. "That's what you play for, to come up late in the game with the game on the line and try to get a base hit."
"That's one of the beauties of Tino," St. Louis manager
Tony La Russa
said. "In a situation like that, he's never going to get intimidated or afraid of it. He's going to give a quality at-bat. That's a huge hit."
(3-1) was the main culprit, yielding two runs and one hit while retiring just one batter. He also walked two and uncorked the crucial wild pitch.
"He's losing the strike zone," Baker said. "Everything was out and over the plate. The pitch to Tino was supposed to be away, and the ball came back in. It's a matter of location."
The late rally made a winner of
(5-5), who retired the only batter he faced in the eighth.
worked the ninth for his 15th save.
drove in both runs for the Cubs, who fell to 56-6 when leading after seven innings.
started the eighth in relief of Wood and allowed a leadoff single by
entered and surrendered a base hit by
before Farnsworth came on and walked Rolen to load the bases.
On an 0-1 pitch, Martinez stroked a single that plated Pujols and Edmonds and moved Rolen to third. With
at the plate, Farnsworth threw away a 1-1 offering, allowing Rolen to scamper home for a 3-2 lead.
"I was looking for something to drive into the outfield and make sure I got one run home," Martinez said. "Farnsworth is always tough on me. It's a tough at-bat for me. He gave me a fastball in and I was able to put a good piece of wood on it."
Renteria walked and
sacrificed before Baker called upon
, who walked pinch hitter
to fill the bases. Closer
relieved Remlinger and allowed a weak grounder to get by him.
Attempting to tag Palmeiro between first and second and complete an inning-ending double play before fielding the ball, second baseman
booted it. But as pinch runner
crossed the plate with St. Louis' fourth run,
recovered in time to force Palmeiro at second.
"If you look back at that inning, there's a couple of things we did poorly as a pen," Guthrie said. "They didn't really scorch the ball. You have to give them credit, they put the ball in play with two strikes. I don't think we were that horrible. The results were horrible. A lot of things didn't go our way."
"Dusty got exactly the matchups that he wanted," La Russa said of the parade of Chicago pitchers. "As good as their pitching is, you've got good hitters that are cranking terrific at-bats."
Borowski induced a flyout by
to end the inning.
After five scoreless frames, Chicago took the lead in the sixth.
led off with a double and went to third on a wild pitch.
grounded out, but Sosa followed with a single to left-center to make it 1-0.
In the eighth,
hit a one-out single off
and scored on a double by Sosa, giving the Cubs a 2-0 advantage.
St. Louis starter
failed in his sixth attempt to record his 15th win. The righthander, who is winless in six starts since defeating Pittsburgh on July 26, allowed just one run and five hits with a walk and six strikeouts in seven innings.
"I know I did my job," Williams said. "I kept my team in the game. Games like this and series like this are why you play this game. The big thing is we got the win."