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Cards ignore welts, bruise Cubs 5-4
St. Louis retaliates for two hit batsmen by winning the game.
By Rick Gano ~ The Associated Press
CHICAGO -- Scott Rolen hit a tie-breaking homer in the eighth inning off an exuberant Carlos Zambrano and sent the St. Louis Cardinals to a 5-4 win over the Chicago Cubs on Monday night.
The Cardinals homered three times and won for the 12th time in 14 games this month to increase their NL Central lead over the Cubs to nine games.
Zambrano (9-5) was ejected in the eighth inning after hitting Jim Edmonds with a pitch right after Rolen's two-run shot -- the second time Zambrano hit Edmonds. Because the benches had been warned, Cubs manager Dusty Baker was also ejected.
Chris Carpenter (10-4) got his 10th victory and fourth of the season against the Cubs, allowing 12 hits and four runs in eight innings.
Jason Isringhausen pitched the ninth for his 23rd save in 27 chances.
Zambrano also drilled Edmonds in the first. And Edmonds angered the young Cubs All-Star when he stood at the plate and admired his long two-run homer in the fourth inning.
As Edmonds neared home plate, Zambrano -- known for his emotional displays on the mound -- began yelling in the direction of the Cardinals' star.
Seconds later, Cubs catcher Michael Barrett began jawing with someone in the Cardinals' dugout and had to be restrained by home plate umpire Joe Brinkman.
The benches emptied briefly, but order was restored quickly and no punches were thrown.
As he walked off mound after retiring the side, Zambrano punched the air. And after striking Edmonds out on three pitches in the sixth, Zambrano wagged his finger at Edmonds as he walked away from the plate.
With the game tied at 3, Tony Womack walked to start the eighth and made it to third on a passed ball and a sacrifice. After Albert Pujols fanned, major league RBI leader Rolen hit his 20th homer of the season, giving him 86 RBIs.
When Zambrano hit Edmonds with the next pitch, Brinkman immediately ejected him.
Sammy Sosa grounded out in the eighth and as he made his way to the dugout stopped at the mound and said something to Carpenter.
Moises Alou then hit a homer to bring the Cubs within 5-4.
Edgar Renteria's solo shot put the Cards up 3-0 in the fifth but the Cubs rallied to tie in the bottom of the inning on Mark Grudzielanek's sacrifice fly and a two-run single by Alou.
Cards' right fielder Reggie Sanders threw out Aramis Ramirez at the plate in the sixth after he'd doubled and tried to score on Barrett's bloop single. Notes: The Cards now lead the season series 10-8. The teams meet for a final time this season Tuesday. ... The Cards are a major league-best 30-16 on the road.