ST. LOUIS (AP) - Jeff Samardzija pitched shutout ball in his first major league start this season and drove in a run to lead the Chicago Cubs past the St. Louis Cardinals 5-1 on Monday night.
The Cardinals fell seven games behind first-place Cincinnati in the NL Central. The Reds beat Arizona 7-2 and reduced their magic number to 13 for clinching the division title.
Samardzija (1-1) filled in admirably for Carlos Silva, scratched due to pain in his pitching elbow. In his first big league appearance since April 19, the former Notre Dame football star allowed six hits in 5 2-3 innings. He walked four and struck out one.
Geovany Soto went 3 for 3 with an RBI single and reached base all four times up. Alfonso Soriano drove in two runs and Kosuke Fukudome had an RBI single for the Cubs.