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Darwin Barney, David DeJesus deliver as Cubs put hurt on Cardinals

The Cubs celebrate game-winning single by David DeJesus (center). | John Gress~Getty Images

The Cubs celebrate the game-winning single by David DeJesus (center). | John Gress~Getty Images

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The facts: 12:05 p.m., Ch. 9,

The starters: Travis Wood (6-12, 4.25) vs. Adam Wainwright (13-13, 3.97).

Updated: October 23, 2012 6:12AM

His former team, the Milwaukee Brewers, would like nothing better than for manager Dale Sveum and the Cubs to sweep the St. Louis Cardinals out of the playoff picture this weekend.

‘‘Even if we sweep them, they’re not out of it,’’ Sveum said Friday. ‘‘Hopefully you do knock them down a little.’’

The Cubs did just that in a stunning 5-4 comeback victory thanks to a two-out, two strike, two-run homer by Darwin Barney in the ninth inning that tied the game at 4. That was followed by a two-out single by David DeJesus in the 11th that sent pinch runner Brett Jackson home.

‘‘It’s great when you get a chance to be ‘that other team’ — and I’ve been on a few,’’ said DeJesus, whose career with the Kansas City Royals before coming to the Cubs was often about playing spoiler.

‘‘But it helps you play up to the game, too,’’ he added.

Character-building is not to be ignored in this otherwise-disappointing Cubs season. It took Barney and DeJesus in the end, but six relievers had to pitch in for starter Chris Volstad, who worked five innings and gave up three hits.

‘‘Chris kept it close, and [Alberto] Cabrera got his first major-league win, and that’s great,’’ DeJesus said.

It also took a great defensive stretch at first base by Anthony Rizzo in the 10th to help Barney extend his errorless streak to 136 games. Barney’s throw after fielding Matt Carpenter’s ground ball was wide of the bag, but Rizzo reached it, then stretched his foot back to tag the base ahead of Carpenter.

‘‘It was unbelievable,’’ Barney said. ‘‘I rushed it a little and thought he’d get down the line a little faster than he did. . . . I don’t know what I’m going to get [Rizzo], but I’ll get him something.’’

What the Cubs got was one game closer to their goal of avoiding 100 losses. They need four more wins for that.

And they got a measure of satisfaction over the rival Cardinals, who are trying to grab the second National League wild card and go on to a second straight World Series victory.

The Cardinals’ lead over the charging Brewers sits at 1

1/2 games after the Brewers beat the Nationals on Friday night in Washington. D.C.

‘‘We have a lot of young guys, so the rivalry [with the Cardinals] has to build up,’’ Sveum said. ‘‘But a rivalry is a rivalry, and it’s more so because it’s a big game for us to get to our goal and possibly knock someone out of the playoffs.’’

That is the September obligation for every non-contender, while for the hopeful Cardinals, it’s the reason a pitcher such as 2005 NL Cy Young Award winner Chris Carpenter would be put into service in game 151 after missing the whole season to that point because of a nerve condition in his shoulder and surgery to relieve it.

Carpenter’s lifetime 11-6 record and 3.05 ERA against the Cubs were valid credentials for the ‘‘season debut’’ with only 12 games left. He worked five innings, giving up two runs and five hits, walking one and striking out two. He would have gotten the victory had reliever Fernando Salas not given up Barney’s seventh homer and had Joe Kelly (5-7) succeeded in retiring DeJesus.

‘‘It’s a goal for us to beat a team like that,’’ Barney said. ‘‘It’s good playing games that matter. When you’re not playing a contender, it’s just not as exciting. We played ourselves out of [contention] early, so it’s good to be playing these games.’’

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