video thumbnail

STL@CHC: Holliday blasts a two-run homer to center

CHICAGO -- The first and last runs of the Cardinals' game Tuesday at Wrigley Field were controversial.

Unfortunately for the Cardinals, they were the ones who took issue.

Cubs outfielder Alfonso Soriano hit a 10th-inning grounder that short-hopped off Cardinals second baseman Tyler Greene's glove, scoring Chicago's Tony Campana to hand St. Louis a 3-2 loss.

The Cardinals weren't pleased that Campana was still on base. After reaching on a one-out single, Campana took off for second with Cardinals reliever Fernando Salas on the mound. St. Louis catcher Yadier Molina appeared to fire the ball to Greene in time to nail the baserunner, but second-base umpire Bill Welke called Campana safe.

Greene immediately disagreed.

"He was out, 100 percent," Greene said. "For one, I tagged him. For two, he never touched the bag. I mean, he missed it. Plain and simple."

Cardinals manager Mike Matheny quickly came out and argued with Welke; the rookie manager was ejected for the first time in his career.

"The conversation was, I thought he was out, and I knew they missed the earlier call," Matheny said. "To sit there and watch our guys get short-ended on great plays and not have something to say about it would be tragic."

Campana said he did not watch a replay and didn't plan to.

"No, I'm not going to watch it," Campana said. "It was really close. I'm not going to look at it."

The 10th-inning call was the game's second that came under dispute, after the initial run scored in similar fashion in the first inning.

With Cubs right fielder David DeJesus -- who led off the game with a double -- on third, Castro lifted a fly ball to right field. Carlos Beltran settled under it and fired to Molina, who caught the ball and moved toward home to tag DeJesus. The Cubs outfielder slid to the right of the plate and reached for it as home-plate umpire Chris Conroy called him safe. TV replays appeared to show DeJesus didn't touch home plate.

"It's a shame is all," Matheny said. "First run was a shame, and the last run was a shame."

Despite the first-inning call, the Cardinals had a chance to escape with a victory. They led briefly, but for the second straight night, their bullpen coughed it up.

St. Louis trailed by a run in the eighth, when Matt Holliday hit a two-out, two-run homer off Cubs closer Carlos Marmol.

An inning later, LaHair hit a solo homer off Cardinals left-hander Marc Rzepczynski to tie the game. The Cubs had a chance to win the game later that frame, with runners at the corners, but Salas struck out Cubs pinch-hitter and Monday's hero, Joe Mather, to send the game to extras.

The late-inning excitement and controversial calls overshadowed two stellar outings by both starting pitchers.

Cardinals right-hander Adam Wainwright had his best start of the season, throwing six innings of one-run ball with seven strikeouts. He completed the sixth inning for the first time this season. Meanwhile, Jeff Samardzija struck out a career-high nine batters in 6 2/3 scoreless innings.

"Tonight, there were certainly some things I did like I used to do them, like I expect to do them and like I'm going to continue to do them," said Wainwright. "There's still ways I can get a lot better than I was tonight, but I felt like my hook came back tonight, threw my offspeed [stuff] well and threw my fastball where I wanted to, for the most part."

Like Wainwright, Samardzija also was dealing in the early going. His performance, coupled with that of Monday starter Matt Garza, gave the Cardinals offense two consecutive days of producing six hits or fewer.

Although the two losses gave St. Louis its first series loss of the season, Holliday said he's tipping his cap to the Cubs pitchers rather than worrying about the offense.

"You're not going to get a ton of offense if a guy's locating a 97-mph fastball with an 89-mph split," Holliday said of Samardzija. "Let's be straight, it doesn't matter if you're sending the greatest hitters in the world up there. If he's making pitches like that, you're not going to get a ton of offense." Comments