CHICAGO (Ticker) --
didn't make it to the end of a five-game series that lasted 17 hours and 22 minutes, but the
still earned their fourth win and passed the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Central.
's one-out RBI single in the seventh inning lifted the Cubs to a 7-6 victory over the Cards and into second place in the NL Central.
Idle Houston (73-66) leads the division and is one-half game ahead of the Cubs (73-67). The Cardinals slipped to third (73-68).
The five-game series featured a rain delay of more than four hours on Monday; a day-night doubleheader that included a 15-inning first game, the ejection of three Cubs players and a shouting match between managers
Tony La Russa
of St. Louis and
"It was one of the best series I've ever been involved in, and maybe my first five-game series against a rival," Baker said. "This is what people talk about when it's Cubs and Cardinals."
The Cubs rallied from a 6-0 deficit to win Wednesday's game, 8-7, and followed with another come-from-behind victory Thursday despite the loss of Sosa, who was ejected in the third inning by plate umpire Bill Hohn.
Hohn ruled that Sosa failed to check his swing on a 1-2 pitch. As Sosa walked towards the dugout, he was ejected by Hohn.
"I was angry about the strikeout and I was saying some things to myself," Sosa said. "The umpire overheard it and thought I was saying it about him and threw me out."
"It was a big call losing Sammy, especially since Sammy was walking away," Baker said. "Whatever he said he didn't say very loud. We didn't hear him (on the bench)."
After arguing Sosa's ejection, Baker came out to argue with second base umpire Tim Timmons later in the inning after
was called out on a close play at second. That incensed the Cubs fans in the bleachers, who showered the outfield with cups.
In the fifth inning, Hohn ejected Cubs pitching coach
for arguing balls and strikes.
On Wednesday, Cubs left fielder
were ejected by umpire Justin Klemm after he called Alou's line drive down the left field line foul although it appeared to kick up chalk.
A two-run double in the fifth inning by
gave the Cardinals a 5-3 lead.
But the Cubs scored three in the bottom of the fifth.
tied the game with a two-run double and scored on a double by Alou.
delivered an RBI single in the seventh off Cubs reliever
(6-5), tying the game at 6-6.
"Just a situation where I had to get ready to face a lefty and get a pitch to handle, so I just got a pitch up and tried to put it in play," Matheny said.
The Cubs took the lead for good in the bottom of the seventh off
(5-8), who walked Alou and hit
with a pitch before Womack came through with his clutch single to right-center. Womack had entered the game defensively in the top of the seventh.
"If you are a baseball fan, you enjoyed this or you are not a fan," Womack said. "It made me a fan and this is what baseball is all about, when two teams fight like this to make the playoffs."
Both starters struggled. St. Louis'
lasted just 4 1/3 innings and allowed six runs and seven hits.
"Obviously, I wasn't very good," Tomko said. "I had enough offense to win the game, but I didn't make pitches when I needed to."
pitched five innings and yielded five runs and nine hits.
"Even though we felt everything was against us, we battled back and won," said Estes. "I can't say enough about our guys. It was an exhausting series."
The Cards scored two in the first off Estes when Alou misjudged
' fly to left for an RBI double, and Pujols came home on a grounder by
The Cubs responded with three in the second off Tomko on an RBI single by
and sacrifice flies by
Cairo's RBI bloop single tied the game in the fifth before Widger's two-run double.
"I thought every game could have gone either way, but they went their way, except for one," La Russa said.
Cards center fielder
missed his second straight game with a bruised knee.