Matt Garza keeps rolling in Cubs’ win over Cardinals
BY TONI GINNETTI firstname.lastname@example.org July 13, 2013 10:02PM
Updated: July 14, 2013 4:58PM
Matt Garza kept up his stellar pitching for the Cubs on Saturday in what might have been his last Wrigley Field appearance in the team’s uniform.
Garza (6-1) notched his fifth consecutive win in the 6-4 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals, while his teammates hit for him and played well behind him.
The game drew the largest crowd of the season, 42,240.
Garza was one out away from making Cubs history before Allen Craig’s two-out single in the seventh inning scored the Cardinals’ second run. Craig was the last batter Garza faced before the pitcher exited to a standing ovation.
Had the run not scored and Garza finished the inning, he would have been the first Cubs pitcher in 61 years to work six consecutive games of at least seven innings while allowing one earned run or fewer.
He gave up two runs and 10 hits, struck out four and walked two, one intentionally.
At least a half-dozen scouts were monitoring his performance. Garza is considered the prime starting pitcher available as the trade deadline July 31 nears. The Cubs begin the second half on the road, with Garza’s next start scheduled for July 22 at Arizona.
The Cardinals scored first with a run in the second, but the Cubs came back with a three-run inning off starter Lance Lynn. One of the runs was unearned in an inning that featured five hits, a passed ball charged to catcher Tony Cruz and two errors, one an interference call on Cruz.
Alfonso Soriano homered in the third — giving him 180 as a Cub and 11th place on the franchise’s all-time list — and Luis Valbuena hit a two-run homer in the fourth.
Lynn (11-4) worked only 4 1/3 innings, giving up 10 hits.
The Cardinals threatened a comeback in the eighth, loading the bases against Blake Parker. Two men were on when right fielder Julio Borbon dropped a fly ball near the wall in foul territory.
But the damage was limited to one run when James Russell retired Matt Carpenter on a sacrifice fly and Carlos Beltran on a fly out.
Kevin Gregg had two outs in the ninth when he walked Matt Adams and David Freese. Jon Jay singled in a run, but Gregg retired pinch hitter Pete Kozma on a ground ball for his 17th save.