By The Associated Press
Ryan Sweeney and Cody Ransom hit back-to-back homers in a four-run first inning, and that was plenty for Jeff Samardzija, who pitched the Cubs over the Cardinals 4-2 Tuesday night in St. Louis.
Chicago started fast against Adam Wainwright (10-4) and broke a five-game losing streak in St. Louis.
Pinch-runner Shane Robinson was called out for interference while trying to break up a double play to end the game.
Carlos Beltran hit his team-high 17th homer for the Cardinals, who lost for the third time in five games but still lead the majors with a 45-26 record.
Samardzija (4-7) gave up two runs and seven hits in 8 1/3 innings.
He struck out six and walked one for his first win since May 27, a 7-0 shutout against the White Sox.
The Cardinals cut the lead to 4-2 on an RBI single by Yadier Molina with one out in the ninth.
Kevin Gregg got David Freese to ground into a game-ending double play for his 10th save in as many opportunities.
Robinson interfered with shortstop Starlin Castro on the pivot at second base.
Wainwright was trying to become the majors’ first 11-game winner.
Twins 7, White Sox 5: Ryan Doumit hit a go-ahead double in the eighth inning, leading the Minnesota Twins over the White Sox in Minneapolis.
Joe Mauer homered, and Trevor Plouffe had an RBI single in Minnesota’s four-run first inning off Dylan Axelrod.
The White Sox came back to tie it at 5 in the eighth when Alex Rios worked a leadoff walk from reliever Jared Burton (1-4), stole second and scored on Paul Konerko’s single that bounced off the pitcher’s mound and into center field.
Clete Thomas walked with two outs against Ramon Troncoso (0-2) in the eighth. Mauer followed with a single – his third hit of the game – and Doumit doubled. Doumit also had three hits.
The Cubs tied a season high with four runs in the first – they also did it in the first inning of a 10-7 loss to San Francisco on April 14.
Wainwright gave up back-to-back homers for the third time in his career. He allowed four earned runs on seven hits over seven innings.
Wainwright had won his previous five starts, but has not beaten the Cubs since Sept. 24, 2010. Wainwright, who bounced back to retire 12 in a row, had given up a total of four first-inning runs over his first 14 starts this season.
The Cubs’ first-inning runs all came after two outs. Nate Schierholtz and Alfonso Soriano hit consecutive doubles before Sweeney unloaded with his second homer of the season to make it 3-0. Ransom followed with his eighth homer.
Samardzija never let a runner past second base in the first five innings and was helped out by three double plays.
Beltran homered off the right-field foul pole with two outs in the sixth. Molina went 3-for-3 and leads the NL with a .363 average.