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STL@CHC: Molina belts a two-run shot to left-center

CHICAGO -- Defensive miscues cost the Cardinals a 5-4 loss to the Cubs in 10 innings on Friday when Octavio Dotel gave up a walk-off single to pinch-hitter Tyler Colvin.

"It's really a discouraging loss," manager Tony La Russa said. "In the end, if we just would've had a run once or twice, then there would have been room for a misplay or a fluke [not] to beat you."

The "fluke" La Russa was referring to took place in the seventh inning when back-to-back misplays cut the Cardinals' two-run lead in half.

With the Cards up, 4-2, with one out in the seventh, Darwin Barney hit a fly ball to right field. Lance Berkman initially ran in to make the play, but tripped and the ball went sailing over his head. Barney was credited with a standup triple.

"I didn't miss it by much, but that step cost me," Berkman said.

Pinch-hitter Blake DeWitt followed with a fly ball to center field. Jon Jay misread the play, and the ball flew over his head and into the ivy, leaving DeWitt at third base and scoring Barney.

"This is a terrible place," Berkman said of Wrigley Field. "This is probably [one of] the top five worst places to play defense. It's a bad surface. You can't see. It's tough. It's unfortunate that happened on back-to-back plays."

The back-to-back triples ended starter Jaime Garcia's day, as he exited after throwing 6 1/3 innings, giving up three runs on nine hits.

La Russa thought both of those balls should have been outs, but Garcia said that's something he can't worry about as a pitcher.

"That's part of getting better and maturing as a baseball player," Garcia said. "No matter what happens behind you, you have to be able to stay focused and make pitches. There are a lot of things that can happen. That's something that I've been working on a lot this year -- just staying focused and not worrying about what's going on behind you."

Left-hander Arthur Rhodes came on with one out in the eighth to protect a one-run lead, but walked the only batter he faced, pinch-hitter Carlos Pena. Kyle McClellan then gave up an RBI double to Geovany Soto, tying the game at 4.

Still, La Russa pointed to his team's lack of offensive production -- including Albert Pujols' 0-for-2 day -- as the reason the Cardinals fell.

"We had six scoreless innings," La Russa said. "We had a couple of chances, but when you leave yourself open like that ... they're going to beat you."

With the loss, St. Louis fell seven games behind first-place Milwaukee in the National League Central. The Cardinals have 37 games left to play.

"Every loss is tough," Garcia said. "You always want to win and give your team a chance. [The Brewers] are playing really good, but we feel really confident about ourselves, too. Today was a tough loss, but all we can do is put it behind us and come out tomorrow and try to win a ballgame." Comments