CHICAGO (AP) -- Yadier Molina hit a three-run homer in St. Louis' four-run ninth inning, and the Cardinals beat the Chicago Cubs 10-6 on Sunday night in the majors' final game before the All-Star break.
Allen Craig lined a tiebreaking RBI single into left field before Molina drove an 0-2 pitch from Kevin Gregg (2-2) over the wall in left for his seventh homer. Craig and Molina tuned up for Tuesday's game in New York with four hits apiece, helping St. Louis to a season-high 21 hits overall.
Chicago went up 4-3 on Darwin Barney's three-run homer in the sixth and pinch hitter Cody Ransom had a tying two-run double in the eighth, but the Cubs' bullpen was unable to hold off the NL's highest-scoring team.
Pete Kozma had two RBI singles as the Cardinals won for the seventh time in nine games to salvage a split of the four-game series. Edward Mujica (2-1) had his second blown save opportunity in 28 chances, but managed to get the win on the same day he was chosen to replace teammate Adam Wainwright on the NL All-Star team.
Despite injuries to key pitchers Chris Carpenter, Jaime Garcia and Jason Motte, St. Louis heads to the All-Star break with baseball's best record at 57-36. It leads the NL Central by one game over surprising Pittsburgh, which lost 4-2 to the New York Mets earlier in the day.
Barney also had a run-scoring single for the Cubs, who went 6-4 on a 10-game stretch in Chicago that included a makeup game at the crosstown White Sox last Monday. The four RBIs for Barney matched a career high set in a 14-4 victory against Pittsburgh on July 30, 2012.
After a slow start, the Cubs (42-51) are a respectable 24-21 in their last 45 games. It's good enough for a four-game improvement compared to last year at this point, when the North Siders were 38-55 on their way to their first 100-loss season since 1966.
The Cardinals carried a 3-1 lead into the sixth, but Wainwright got into trouble after Alfonso Soriano began the inning with a fly ball to the warning track in right. Dioner Navarro and Brian Bogusevic then hit consecutive singles to put runners on first and second.
Wainwright bounced back to strike out Dave Sappelt, but his first pitch to Barney was up and over the plate, and he drove it into the basket in left field for his sixth homer.
That proved to be just a minor little speed bump for the Cardinals, who used four hits to regain the lead during a two-run seventh. Kozma singled in Molina to tie it at 4 and eventually came around on Matt Carpenter's bouncer into center field.
Adams tacked on an RBI double in eighth, setting the stage for the wild finish.
Travis Wood, who will represent the Cubs at the All-Star festivities, allowed three runs and a season-high 10 hits in 5 2-3 innings. It matched the shortest outing of the year for the consistent lefty, who pitched at least six innings in 17 of his first 18 starts.
Molina was out of the starting lineup for St. Louis' 6-4 loss on Saturday night and began the night in a 1-for-19 rut covering his previous seven games. But he singled in each of his first two at-bats and forced Bogusevic to make a leaping catch against the wall in center in the eighth.
NOTES: Cardinals OF Matt Holliday (right hamstring tightness) missed his third consecutive game. "We need to be real careful so we can continue to progress, make sure we are aiming for that first day after the break," manager Mike Matheny said. ... OF Cole Gillespie joined the Cubs, and reliever Henry Rodriguez was designated for assignment to make room on the roster. Gillespie was claimed off waivers from San Francisco on Saturday. He had a pinch-hit single in the eighth. ... Cubs RHP Scott Baker allowed four runs and six hits in three innings in his first rehab start with Class A Kane County. Baker missed last season with Minnesota after undergoing elbow-ligament replacement surgery. "Today was a big hump, to pitch against hitters and getting in a real game and the whole atmosphere and everything," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said, "and then hopefully we just start seeing gradual pickup in the velocities and all that."
CHICAGO (AP) -- Carlos Beltran had three hits and drove in a run, while reliever-turned-starter Joe Kelly (1-3) won his first game of the season as the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Chicago Cubs 3-2 Friday at Wrigley Field.
Beltran was a homer short of hitting for the cycle, with a run-scoring triple, double and single as the Cardinals bounced back from Thursday night's loss to the Cubs that snapped a five-game winning streak.
Kelly allowed three hits and a run in 5 1-3 innings, striking out four and walking two. Edward Mujica pitched the ninth for his 26th save in 27 opportunities.
St. Louis jumped on Cubs starter Carlos Villaneuva (2-5) for two runs in the top of the first inning. Matt Carpenter singled and scored on Beltran's triple, followed by Allen Craig's RBI single.
The Cubs cut St. Louis' lead to 2-1 in the third. Luis Valbuena walked, went to second when Starlin Castro was hit by a pitch, Anthony Rizzo hit into a fielder's choice that pushed Valbuena to third and then Alfonso Soriano's single scored Valbuena.
The Cubs threatened in the sixth with runners at first and second with just one out, but Brian Bogusevic hit into an inning-ending double-play.
The Cardinals increased their lead to 3-1 in the seventh. Pinch-hitter Rob Johnson, batting for reliever Randy Choate, hit a two-out triple to right field, just out of reach of a diving Nate Schierholtz, and Matt Carpenter followed with an RBI double to left-center.
Castro closed the score to 3-2 with a lead-off homer in the eight, but the Cubs would get no closer, stranding seven runners in the game.
The Cubs are 12-8 in their last 20 games, and are 3-5 vs. St. Louis thus far this season. They faced the best team in baseball for the second straight week. Last weekend, they took two-of-three from the Pittsburgh Pirates, who had the major leagues' best mark at the time.
NOTES: Cardinals LF Matt Holliday was held out Friday with right hamstring tightness and is day-to-day. . In addition to signing first round draft pick Kris Bryant, the Cubs also inked 12th round RHP Trevor Clifton and 19th round C Will Remillard. . Saturday's pitchers will be the Cards' Lance Lynn (11-3, 3.67) vs. Matt Garza (5-1, 3.22) for the Cubs. Garza has been the subject of trade rumors in recent days. "He's obviously throwing extremely well and he's very healthy and there are teams out there looking for pitching who are going to call and try to acquire him," Cubs president Theo Epstein said before Friday's game. "He's helping us win games right now, there's a chance to possibly retain him beyond this year, so we'll just balance all that out and do what's best for the organization." . The Cubs have used 42 players thus far this season, a pre-All-Star break team record. . The Cubs came into Friday's game leading the National League with 293 extra-base hits. . Attendance was 37,322.
CHICAGO (AP) -- Edwin Jackson earned his third straight win, combining with four relievers on a four-hitter, and Anthony Rizzo drove in all the runs to lead the Chicago Cubs to a 3-0 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Thursday night.
St. Louis had the tying run at the plate in the ninth inning after Kevin Gregg dropped a throw covering first on Allen Craig's grounder, and David Freese walked.
Alfonso Soriano made a shoestring catch on Jon Jay's liner to end the game. Cardinals manager Mike Matheny was then seen arguing vehemently with plate umpire Dan Bellino and appeared to make contact with him.
The Cubs escaped with the win, and Gregg got his 16th save in 18 chances.
St. Louis' five-game winning streak ended.
Jackson (6-10) struck out five without a walk in seven innings. Starlin Castro added three singles and scored two runs for the Cubs, who won for the fifth time in six games.
The Cardinals lost Matt Holliday to tightness in his right hamstring when he ran out a grounder in the fourth inning.
Rizzo delivered an RBI double in the first inning after Castro singled with one out and made it 3-0 in the third off Jake Westbrook (5-4), poking a two-run single to left past a drawn-in infield.
That was enough for Jackson, who didn't give up either a run or a walk for the first time this season. He also matched his longest outing of the year and improved to 5-2 in his last seven starts after opening 1-8.
The Cubs also made some crisp plays behind him, including Brian Bogusevic's leaping catch against the center-field wall to rob Matt Adams of an extra-base hit leading off the seventh.
The Cardinals had runners on first and second in the eighth after Blake Parker gave up a leadoff single to Jay and walked pinch-hitter Daniel Descalso with one out. James Russell then retired Matt Carpenter on a liner to center, and Pedro Strop threw a wild pitch to put runners on second and third, Carlos Beltran struck out swinging to end the threat.
It was just what the Cubs were looking for one night after matching a season-high for runs allowed and setting one by giving up five homers in a 13-2 loss to the Los Angeles Angels.
Westbrook went seven innings, allowing three runs and seven hits. But it was a tough night for the NL Central leaders, particularly with Holliday leaving the game.
He came up clutching his hamstring halfway to first base on a grounder to short in the fourth. He walked off gingerly after being tended to by a trainer and didn't go out to left field in the bottom half.
NOTES: Beltran played in his 2,000th game. ... The Cubs' Scott Baker threw a bullpen session at Wrigley Field on Thursday and will begin a minor league rehab stint with Class A Kane County on Sunday. The right-hander signed a one-year deal with the Cubs after undergoing Tommy John surgery and sitting out last season with Minnesota, then had a setback in spring training. Chicago manager Dale Sveum said he will make at least four rehab starts before joining the Cubs. ... RHP Joe Kelly (0-3, 4.15 ERA) starts Friday for the Cardinals, with RHP Carlos Villanueva (2-4, 3.63) going for the Cubs.