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  • 18 Mar
    导出博客文章CHICAGO -- David Ross got fired up when Cubs manager Joe Maddon walked to the
    mound with two out in the seventh inning, ready to argue for Jon Lester to stay
    in the game.Maddon and Lester had a different plan.Joe looked at him and said
    `Have you ever been a part of where the catcher gets taken out of the game
    before the pitcher? Lester said, describing the scene with a big grin. You can
    just see him, its like the kid at the candy store when you tell him he can pick
    out whatever he wants.It was just like the disbelief in his face and slams his
    mask back over his face and all he can say is `I love you guys. I love you guys.
    I love you guys.Ross then walked off to another standing ovation from a raucous
    crowd of 40,859 at Wrigley Field, part of a heartwarming Sunday night for the
    backup catcher in his last season. He also hit his 10th homer and teamed with
    Lester for another scoreless performance, helping the Cubs to a 3-1 victory over
    the St. Louis Cardinals.It was an amazing night, Ross said.Ben Zobrist had three
    hits and scored two runs as Chicago finished with a major league-best 57-24 home
    record. Its the most home wins for the Cubs since they went 58-19 at the West
    Side Grounds in 1910.The Cardinals lost for the third time in four games,
    wasting a chance to improve their playoff positioning. They remain a half-game
    back of San Francisco for the second NL wild card after the Giants lost 4-3 at
    San Diego earlier in the day.I think were in a good position right now, pitcher
    Carlos Martinez said through a translator. I also think we have a great shot at
    winning the World Series.Ross, Lesters regular catcher, was greeted with a long
    standing ovation when he came to the plate in the second inning. St. Louis
    catcher Yadier Molina walked halfway to the mound, forcing the unassuming Ross
    to take in the moment, and he took off his batting helmet to acknowledge the
    cheering crowd.Ross then struck out, but he got another chance in the fifth and
    drove Martinezs second pitch over the wall in left for 1-0 lead. Ross clapped
    his hands as he rounded first on his 10th homer and the cheers continued after
    he reached the dugout, prompting a curtain call.It was just fitting that David
    would hit a home run, isnt it? Maddon said. I mean it had to have happened
    tonight.Lester (19-4), one of the top candidates for the NL Cy Young Award,
    struck out seven in 6 2/3 innings. The left-hander allowed three hits and walked
    one while improving to 10-0 with 1.34 ERA in his last 13 starts.It was Lesters
    idea to pull Ross in the middle of an inning.Hes like a brother to me and for
    him to give me that was pretty cool, Ross said.The Cardinals pulled within one
    on Jhonny Peraltas two-out RBI single in the eighth, but Brandon Moss flied to
    center with runners on the corners. Willson Contreras responded with an RBI
    single in the bottom half and Aroldis Chapman worked the ninth for his 16th save
    with the NL Central champions and No. 36 on the year.Martinez (15-9), pitching
    with a heavy heart after the death of Miami pitcher Jose Fernandez in a boating
    accident, allowed two runs and six hits in six innings. He struck out six and
    walked four.He had lots of juice, Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. Its
    probably the hardest sinker Ive ever seen him throw. A couple of those were 97
    (mph). He was locked in. He wanted it bad today, and he was good enough for us
    to win.RESTING AND MOURNINGSt. Louis shortstop Aledmys Diaz, who is dealing with
    some arm fatigue, got the day off. Diaz also was a childhood friend of
    Fernandez.Matheny said he would have scratched Diaz had he been in the lineup.
    Diaz declined an interview request through a team spokeswoman.Hes pretty stoic.
    You see how he goes about his business, Matheny said. Thats kind of how hes
    handling this right now. He was a close, close friend, so hes trying to figure
    out how to mourn for his friend right now and take all the information in. None
    of that is easy.UP NEXTCardinals: LHP Jaime Garcia (10-12, 4.59 ERA) faces
    Cincinnati RHP Tim Adleman (2-4, 4.06 ERA) on Monday night in the opener of a
    seven-game homestand. After four against the last-place Reds, the Cardinals
    finish the regular season with a three-game series against Pittsburgh.Cubs: RHP
    Kyle Hendricks (15-8, 2.06 ERA) pitches for Chicago in the opener of a four-game
    series at Pittsburgh. RHP Chad Kuhl (5-3, 3.73 ERA) gets the ball for the
    Pirates on Monday night.---Jay Cohen can be reached at
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