- Associated Press - Saturday, April 12, 2014

ST. LOUIS (AP) - Chicago Cubs closer Jose Veras stumbled first. Then it was Trevor Rosenthal’s turn to fail - at the plate and on the mound.

Welington Castillo hit a three-run homer in the 11th inning off the St. Louis closer, who struck out with an unusual chance to win it, and the Cubs beat the Cardinals 6-3 on Friday night.

“I know he throws really hard,” Castillo said. “So I just waited for something over the plate that I can drive, and I put my best wood on it.”

The Cardinals tied it with two runs in the ninth and had runners on first and second with two outs in the 10th when manager Mike Matheny decided against a pinch hitter. Rosenthal (0-1) took a called third strike in his second career at-bat and said he didn’t carry any disappointment back to the mound.

“Uh no, because I mean, I’m not here to hit,” Rosenthal said. “So it’s easy to kind of brush it off and just go out there and try to have another shutdown inning.”

Nate Schierholtz doubled for his fourth straight hit leading off the 11th and advanced on a sacrifice. Starlin Castro was intentionally walked and Ryan Kalish popped out on a bunt attempt before Castillo lined a 1-1 fastball 426 feet to left for his second homer.

“I figured he might be hunting for a fastball,” Rosenthal said. “Looking at the video, I didn’t get it up quite as much as I’d hoped, but he put a good swing on a good pitch.

“Not much you can do about it.”

Justin Grimm (1-0) walked Matt Holliday and Matt Adams on eight pitches to start the 10th but got out of it, partly because Matheny left Pete Kozma and Tony Cruz on the bench. Grimm struck out Yadier Molina and got Shane Robinson to fly out before facing Rosenthal.

Matheny said he’d have batted Kozma with less than two outs. He also banked on another shutdown inning from Rosenthal, who needed just six pitches in the 10th.

“You’ve got a real good feeling he’s going to bring us back in with another zero,” Matheny said. “We had two shots at getting the guy in from second.”

Hector Rondon finished for his first career save.

Veras hit two batters and walked another in the ninth. One run scored on a passed ball by Castillo, helping the Cardinals score twice in the inning. Matt Carpenter’s bases-loaded sacrifice fly tied it at 3.

Veras has blown both his save chances and has allowed five earned runs in 3 2-3 innings with three hit batters and seven walks.

“A shaky outing,” Cubs manager Rick Renteria said, “but he’s still our guy.”

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