St. Louis When Kerry Wood left, the St. Louis Cardinals' bats woke up.
Wood struck out 11 in seven shutout innings for Chicago, but the Cardinals rallied against five Cubs relievers for a 4-2 victory Wednesday night.
Tino Martinez hit a tying, two-run single and St. Louis took the lead on Kyle Farnsworth's wild pitch in a four-run eighth. The Cardinals evened the series between NL Central contenders at a game apiece.
"You had to keep playing," manager Tony La Russa said. "That's one thing we have done over and over again this year. That's the trademark of our club; even after a tough loss we play nine innings."
The Cardinals stayed one game behind Houston in the NL Central. Chicago fell 11/2 games off the lead.
The Cubs fell to 5-24 at Busch Stadium since the start of the 2000 season. Sammy Sosa drove in both runs for Chicago.
"This will hurt a little bit," Sosa said. "We should have won, no question about it."
Wood blanked the Cardinals on four hits and was pulled after 125 pitches.
"I got in some jams early and I walked a couple of guys," Wood said. "I was able to pitch out of them and continue to go at it, but it probably prevented me from going deeper in the game."
Albert Pujols singled off Antonio Alfonseca to start the eighth and Jim Edmonds followed with a single off Mark Guthrie. Farnsworth (3-1) walked Scott Rolen to load the bases before Martinez singled on a 1-1 pitch.
"It's always great to come up in those situations," Martinez said. "That's what you play for."
On an 0-1 pitch to Edgar Renteria, Farnsworth threw a fastball in the dirt well in front of the plate and it bounced off catcher Damian Miller's chest protector as Rolen trotted in with the go-ahead run.
Expos 9, Phillies 6
Montreal -- Pinch-hitter Joe Vitiello singled home the go-ahead run in the seventh inning as Montreal beat Philadelphia and closed within one game of the NL wild-card lead.
Montreal has won four straight overall and eight in a row at home. The Expos led 6-1 in the seventh, but Pat Burrell hit an RBI double and Marlon Byrd tied in the score with his first career grand slam.
Padres 10, D'backs 2
Phoenix -- Phil Nevin hit a grand slam and Ryan Klesko had a three-run homer to lead San Diego over Curt Schilling and Arizona. Sean Burroughs had his first four-hit game for the Padres, who had 16 hits and won their second straight against Arizona. The Diamondbacks remained 1 1/2 games back in the NL wild-card race. Brian Giles was 2-for-5 with an RBI in his first start for the Padres, who obtained him Tuesday from Pittsburgh. He had singles in his first two at-bats.
Giants 6, Rockies 4
Denver -- Sidney Ponson took a two-hit shutout into the eighth inning and San Francisco handed Colorado its fifth straight loss. Jeffrey Hammonds hit a two-run homer for the Giants, who won for the seventh time in eight tries following a six-game losing streak. Rich Aurilia also had two RBIs. The Giants were again without slugger Barry Bonds, who remains on the bereavement list following the death of his father, Bobby.
Pirates 4, Marlins 0
Pittsburgh -- Kip Wells and two relievers shut out Florida and Jason Bay had two key hits in his Pittsburgh debut.
Astros 6, Dodgers 1
Houston -- Jeff Bagwell became the 13th player in major-league history to hit 30 or more homers in eight consecutive seasons, leading the Astros. Houston won its third straight and increased its NL Central lead to one game. Los Angeles has lost four in a row but remained 2 1/2 games back in the crowded National League wild-card race. Bagwell hit a three-run homer in a a four-run first inning, the 410th home run of his career.
Braves 4, Mets 1
Atlanta -- Greg Maddux earned his 286th win, Chipper Jones drove in all four Atlanta runs and the Braves defeated New York. Kent Mercker closed it out in place of John Smoltz, who went on the disabled list earlier in the day because of tendinitis in his right elbow. It was the first time a pitcher other than Smoltz earned a save for Atlanta since Jung Keun Bong did it in a 15-3 victory over Cincinnati May 28.
Brewers 6, Reds 2
Cincinnati -- Scott Podsednik drove in three runs and Milwaukee won its ninth straight game. The Brewers' winning streak is their longest since a nine-game string in 1997.