ST. LOUIS (AP) - The Chicago Cubs lost the lead, then their cool, after a hard slide by St. Louis All-Star outfielder Matt Holliday.
The Cubs scored five unearned runs on just two hits in the first, then were blanked from there in the Cardinals' 13-5 victory on Saturday.
St. Louis scored eight runs in the fifth inning, including five after Holliday broke up a potential inning-ending double play.
With one out and the bases loaded, Holliday walked and that ended the day for starter Rodrigo Lopez (2-3).
Reliever Jeff Samardzija entered and David Freese hit a grounder to second baseman Darwin Barney, who threw to shortstop Starlin Castro to start a double play. However, Holliday's slide took out Castro as John Jay scored. As Castro was lying on the infield, Albert Pujols scooted home to tie it at 5.
Cubs manager Mike Quade come out to argue and was ejected by second base umpire Derryl Cousins. Quade said he believed Holliday was out of the line and could not touch second from where he hit Castro.
``There's not much to talk about,' Quade said. ``I disagreed with Derryl's assessment that is was a clean play. I think that's why they have the rule in place. There wasn't an attempt at the bag and he got a pretty good piece of Castro as well.
``That was a huge play obviously in the game, too. It gets us out of there with a 5-3 lead.'
Castro, sporting a bruise on his leg, said it was not a ``clean' slide by Holliday.
``He slide real hard, real hard. It's not clean,' Castro said. ``He slide hard and way out of the base. It's baseball, you know. You try to break the double play.'
Of course, the Cardinals saw it differently.
``I mean, I watched it on tape. He's sliding into the bag,' St. Louis manager Tony La Russa said. ``He's in the scene of the base and that's just good baseball.'
The Cardinals went on to make 10-5 after the inning and never looked back.
St. Louis has won six in a row over the Cubs, who have lost five consecutive games.
Aramis Ramirez said Chicago's woes can't be traced to Quade.
``You know, this isn't Quade's fault,' Ramirez said. ``I don't care who you bring in. It's not the manager's fault. He doesn't play. The only thing he can do is making pitching changes and make the lineup. The rest of it we have to take care of. I don't think this is the manager's fault.'
Pujols and Freese each homered and Ryan Theriot added four hits and three RBIs to spark St. Louis' victory.
It was the 432nd homer of Pujols' career and came one day after he reached 2,000 hits. The home run places him alone in 40th place on the career list. He just missed getting a second one when the ball sailed just outside the left-field foul pole in the seventh inning.
Kyle Lohse (9-7) pitched five innings before being lifted for a pinch-hitter. He allowed five runs - none earned - and gave up two hits.
St. Louis sent 12 men to the plate in the fifth and scored eight runs on four hits to take a 10-5 lead.
John Russell relieved Samardzija, who walked three and gave up four runs and two hits in one-third on an inning, and struck out Jay to end the inning.
``Unfortunately, Jeff didn't have a very good day to get us out and stop the bleeding,' Quade said. ``But he damn well could have. He made a pitch that Barney and Castro were in the process of turning a hell of a double play to get us out of that mess. I think the game's different if we get out of that. I really do.'
Freese hit a two-run homer in the sixth for a 12-5 St. Louis advantage. St. Louis added a run in the seventh when Theriot hit his second double.
The Cardinals began chipping away at the early Cubs lead with two runs in the first. Pujols blasted a two-out solo homer. His last four home runs have all come in the first inning. Holliday followed with a double and he scored on Skip Schumaker's single to center.
Chicago jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the first inning. Shortstop Daniel Descalso booted leadoff hitter Castro's grounder. After a sacrifice, Lohse walked two batters before getting Marlon Byrd to pop out to second. Geovany Soto then hit a two-run double to center before Soriano cleared the bases with a home run to left field.
``That's why you play nine innings,' Ramirez said. ``St. Louis is one of the best offensive teams in the National League. They are so tough and they never give up. They came right back and scored two and they took off from there.'
NOTES: Theriot, who has been charged with a team-high 16 errors at shortstop, started at second base for the first time this season. ... St. Louis' right fielder Lance Berkman did not play Saturday as he remained sidelined with a strained right shoulder. Berkman has started just one of the first six games on the homestand. ... With their five runs in the first, the Cubs have scored 63 runs, making it their most productive frame of year. ... After allowing two St. Louis runs in the first inning, Chicago now has surrendered 87 first-inning runs, the most of any team in baseball. ... Yadier Molina hit into a double play in the fourth to raise the Cardinals' major league-leading total to 114. ... Chicago committed two errors in the loss giving them a major-league leading 93 for the season.
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