Rapid Reaction: Cubs 6, Cardinals 4

Here’s a quick look at the Chicago Cubs’ 6-4 win over the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium on Monday.

How it happened: The Cubs appeared as if they were trying to give Monday’s game to their National League Central rival, stranding the bases loaded three times. They left 14 runners on base. Worst of all, Cubs manager Dale Sveum chose to bunt with No. 3 hitter Starlin Castro with runners on first and second with no outs and the game tied in the eighth inning. Castro’s bunt resulted in a double play and the Cardinals intentionally walking Bryan LaHair. Alfonso Soriano, however, saved the Cubs by following Castro’s bunt with a single to score Tony Campana for the game-winning run. The Cubs added a run in the ninth inning thanks to two Cardinals’ errors. Cubs starter Ryan Dempster had his worst outing of the season. After the Cubs gave him a 4-0 lead in the fifth inning, Dempster allowed four runs in the sixth inning. He lasted six innings, and his ERA rose to 1.74. LaHair continued his tear and was 3-for-4 with a home run and two RBIs. Rafael Dolis picked up his fourth save of the season.

What it means: The Cubs moved to within five games of the Cardinals, who lead the Central.

Outside the box: The Cubs are now 4-3 against the Cardinals this season. The Cubs went 5-10 overall and 2-7 at Busch Stadium against the Cardinals last season.

Up next: Paul Maholm will look for his fifth consecutive win in as many starts when he takes the mound Tuesday in the final game of the two-game series against the Cardinals. He’s allowed a total of three runs in his last four starts. Kyle Lohse (5-1, 2.08) will start for the Cardinals.