Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Cubs' Hibbard Cuffs Cards Chicago Wins Rubber Game 2-1

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Cubs' Hibbard Cuffs Cards Chicago Wins Rubber Game 2-1

Article excerpt

The Chicago Cubs made their last appearance at Busch Stadium this season especially irritating for the Cardinals by hanging on to a 2-1 victory Sunday before a paid crowd of 52,298.

The attendance was the second highest of the season, topped only by a crowd of 53,146 against the Colorado Rockies on July 10.

More than a few of the spectators, blue-clad ones to be precise, went home happy. The Cardinals went to the airport shaking their heads after losing two of three to the Cubs and completing a 10-game home stand 6-4.

"That's not good at all," catcher Tom Pagnozzi said. "We had to go at least 7-3. Usually, you go on a trip and figure if you can play .500 ball, it's good. But it's very important that we do better than that on this trip."

The Cardinals (63-48) open a seven-game trip to Pittbsurgh and Montreal with a 6:35 (St. Louis time) start against the Pirates tonight. The Cubs (56-54) moved two games above .500.

The loss further stalled the Cardinals' disjointed pursuit of the first-place Philadelphia Phillies in the National League East. The Cardinals, who relinquished a 4-3 lead in the ninth to lose 6-4 to the Cubs on Friday, are 10-11 in their last 21 games. Not the stuff of which stretch runs are made.

"It was a tough series, but it's always tough against the Cubs," outfielder Bernard Gilkey said. "The intensity is always there, no matter what."

And it wasn't just the end result that was tough; it was the means. The Cardinals posted a 1-0 lead in the first inning. But the Cubs tied the game with a bases-loaded walk in the third and scored the decisive run on a two-out double by pitcher Greg Hibbard in the sixth.

The hit was Hibbard's first in the major leagues. Hibbard, who pitched in the American League before this season, was 0 for 37 before slamming the run-scoring double to right-center field off Donovan Osborne. The inning started with a bunt single by Sammy Sosa, who advanced on an infield out. With one out to get, Osborne (9-6) intentionally walked Steve Lake to get to Hibbard.

"I put the pitch where I wanted it, down and in," Osborne said. "I thought it was a good pitch, but I don't know. Maybe that's where he hits it."

Osborne, who gave up allowed an uncharacteristic four walks in eight innings, was more upset by the unintentional pass he gave Sosa with the bases loaded in the third.

"There's no reason to be doing it," Osborne said. "I've never had control problems. I don't get it. I don't know; I guess I was trying to do too much."

On the other hand, the Cardinals couldn't do much of anything with Hibbard (9-8) as they faced him for the first time. …

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