Updated: May 14, 2014 12:44AM
ST. LOUIS — History did not repeat itself.
One night after they shredded the St. Louis Cardinals for 17 runs — their most since 2009, and their most against the Cards in 40 years — the Cubs turned in a much more modest effort in a 4-3, 12-inning defeat.
This game ended in slightly less riveting fashion than the Blackhawks-Wild classic in Minneapolis, with reliever Justin Grimm plunking Greg Garcia with a pitch with the bases loaded.
The season series between the teams now stands at 4-4, with two games left to play in this set and 11 more in all.
The Cubs (13-25) opened the scoring in the third inning, with Luis Valbuena’s home run to right knocking in starting pitcher Jake Arrieta for a 2-0 lead.
But that was all the support Arrieta, making his third start, got over four up-and-down innings of work. He left with a 2-1 lead after throwing only 42 strikes out of 82 total pitches and walking five batters. His ERA dropped to 2.70, though he remained without a decision on the season.
“With my stuff,” Arrieta said, “I need to be more efficient.”
His early exit led to a succession of relievers that totaled six by the time Grimm was on the mound. Neil Ramirez, James Russell and Brian Schlitter were terrific, combining to allow zero runs on just one hit over five innings.
Unlike Arrieta, they also didn’t issue any walks.
“Not acceptable,” Arrieta said of his wildness. “Make them hit your stuff. … There’s no reason to have a ball ratio as high as it was tonight.”
The Cardinals scored two off Carlos Villanueva and Wesley Wright in the sixth inning for a 3-2 lead, and that held up until there were two outs in the top of the ninth. That’s when Emilio Bonifacio singled home Junior Lake, with St. Louis closer Trevor Rosenthal blowing the save.
Grimm was beyond shaky after taking the ball to start the 12th. He allowed a leadoff single to Jhonny Peralta. After retiring Matt Holliday on a popup, Grimm walked both Allen Craig and Yadier Molina before hitting Garcia.
St. Louis’ Seth Maness pitched the final innings to get the win.