Chicago Early or late, the St. Louis Cardinals are managing to get enough offense to win.
Albert Pujols and Jim Edmonds hit consecutive home runs, and the Cardinals hung on for a 7-6 victory over their division rival Chicago Cubs on Friday.
Ray Lankford had three hits with an RBI, a run scored and a steal, and Tony Womack and Mike Matheny also drove in runs.
"We know how it is with the Cubs," said closer Jason Isringhausen, who pitched a perfect ninth to seal the victory.
"We always want to beat the Cubs, they always want to beat us. It's just fun to get a win. We can go out to dinner tonight, have a good time, and come back in the morning and do it all over again."
Moises Alou almost spoiled those plans, though. The Cardinals didn't get a hit after the fifth inning, and Alou cut their lead to one with a three-run homer in the seventh.
It's the third straight day he's gone deep late in the game. He homered to win the game in the 10th inning Wednesday night, and tied Thursday's game with a home run in the seventh.
"It's not a beach ball, I only got one hit today," Alou said. "I'm just trying to be aggressive and try to hit the ball hard. I got some good wood. They happen to happen in clutch situations."
Alou had another chance in the ninth, but struck out to end the game.
The victory was the Cardinals' third straight and moved them a season-high four games above .500.
Michael Barrett, moved up to the No. 2 spot in Chicago's lineup, homered in his first two at-bats for his second career two-home run game, and Todd Walker hit a solo shot.
"We scored six runs," Cubs manager Dusty Baker said. "Usually that's good enough to win."
Not against St. Louis these days. The Cardinals scored nine of their 11 runs in the last four innings Thursday, six in the ninth alone.
They didn't wait that long Friday, taking advantage of rookie Sergio Mitre's inconsistency with four runs in the second and three more in the fifth.
"I thought he had good stuff," Edmonds said. "I didn't really see too many pitches he gave us to hit. Today a couple of mistakes were made and they were hit for home runs on both sides."
Marlins 6, D'backs 5, 10 innings
Miami -- Mike Redmond drew a bases-loaded walk in the 10th inning, leading Florida over Arizona. Juan Pierre led off the inning with a single, and stole second one out later. Reliever Brian Bruney intentionally walked Miguel Cabrera and then walked Abraham Nunez to load the bases. Armando Benitez (1-0) walked three in a scoreless 10th for the victory.
Mets 9, Rockies 7
New York -- Mike Piazza homered and Danny Garcia had two of New York's nine doubles in a victory over Colorado. Matt Ginter (1-0) got his first win as a starter, and Jason Phillips added two doubles for the Mets, coming off two bad offensive performances in losses to St. Louis. The Mets knocked around rookie Jason Young (0-1).
Braves 2, Dodgers 0
Atlanta -- Chipper Jones homered in the seventh to break up a scoreless duel between Russ Ortiz and Odalis Perez, sending Atlanta over Los Angeles. The Dodgers have lost eight in a row -- their longest slide since June 1992, when the team dropped 10 straight.
Giants 6, Expos 5
San Juan, Puerto Rico -- Barry Bonds drew a leadoff walk to spark a six-run seventh inning that carried San Francisco over Montreal. Bonds played despite a sore back that had kept him out of the last two games. He said he wanted the fans in San Juan -- where the Expos play 22 of their home games -- to get a chance to see him in action.
Phillies 5, Padres 4
Philadelphia -- Chase Utley had three RBIs, including a go-ahead single in the eighth inning that capped a comeback from a three-run deficit for Philadelphia. Utley, who had three hits, homered for the second straight game, and David Bell also homered for the Phillies. Ryan Madson (3-1) pitched a hitless eighth inning, and Tim Worrell finished for his fourth save in six opportunities.
Reds 7, Astros 4
Cincinnati -- Ken Griffey Jr.'s slump-breaking double keyed a five-run rally in the seventh inning for Cincinnati. Griffey's double just inside first base snapped a 4-all tie and a personal 0-for-13 skid, sending the Reds to their sixth victory in seven games.