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“I saw the pitch out of his hand and knew it was in,” Garcia said. “When it got close to the plate I saw it had a chance to hit me. I’ll take that one 100 percent of the time.”
Seth Maness (1-2) tossed a scoreless 12th for the win. Both teams used seven pitchers.
St. Louis manager Mike Matheny said he had not planned to use Maness, who had pitched the last three games.
“We were planning on staying away from him if possible, but it turned out we needed him,” Matheny said.
Trailing 3-2 going into the ninth, Chicago rallied to tie it off closer Trevor Rosenthal on Emilio Bonifacio’s RBI single with two outs. The blown save was the first for Rosenthal in 11 opportunities.
“That’s tough, and you could feel it,” Matheny said. “But they just put their head down and kept playing. That would have been a tough one to lose.”
Matt Adams and Matt Carpenter also drove in runs for the Cardinals.
Luis Valbuena hit a two-run homer off Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright as part of a three-hit night.
“The guys ended up fighting, doing the best they could,” Cubs manager Rick Renteria said. “We just fell a little short.”
The Cardinals took a 3-2 lead in the sixth after Peter Bourjos led off with a bunt single against Carlos Villanueva. Bourjos went to second on a grounder, stole third on ball four pitch to pinch-hitter Jon Jay and scored on Carpenter’s grounder. Peralta added an RBI single.
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