CHICAGO (AP) -Reliever-turned-starter Braden Looper allowed five hits in seven innings and Preston Wilson hit a long two-run homer in the seventh Friday as the St. Louis Cardinals snapped a four-game losing streak by beating the Chicago Cubs 2-1.
In just his fourth major league start, Looper (3-1) outdueled Ted Lilly (1-2) in the start of a series featuring a marquee managerial matchup between Lou Piniella and Tony La Russa. Jason Isringhausen pitched the ninth for his fourth save in as many chances.
Isringhausen was helped when pinch-runner Ronny Cedeno was called out at second on a bizarre play for the second out. With Cedeno running, a 3-2 pitch to Jacque Jones was called a ball but Yadier Molina threw to second and shortstop David Eckstein tagged Cedeno when he overslid the bag.
Eckstein and LaRussa both argued Jones should be out, and after conferring, the umpires agreed. Matt Murton then popped out to end the game.
Lilly (1-2) shut the defending World Series champs out on three hits for 6 1-3 innings. But after he walked Jim Edmonds with one out in the seventh, Wilson followed with his first homer, a line drive that cleared the left-field bleachers for a 2-1 lead. Lilly gave up four hits and two runs in seven innings.
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