Rapid Reaction: Cards 5, Cubs 4

CHICAGO -- The Cubs couldn’t finish off a second consecutive comeback victory, falling 5-4 on Saturday to the St. Louis Cardinals in 10 innings.

How it happened: The Cubs sure aren’t making things easy on the Cardinals. A day after a coming back for a victory, the Cubs nearly did it again, only to see the Cardinals pull off a comeback of their own. Carlos Beltran matched Darwin Barney from the day before by hitting a game-tying home run in the ninth inning. Jon Jay put the Cardinals up for good in the 10th inning with an RBI double. The Cubs fell behind 3-0, but caught and passed the Cardinals, for the time being anyway, with a run in the third inning and three in the sixth.

What it means: The Cubs-Cardinals rivalry of a new generation is off and running. Cubs manager Dale Sveum said Friday that the Cubs’ young players needed time to understand the magnitude of the matchup, but everybody seems to be up to speed already. The Cubs had a spirited comeback in the middle innings while the Cardinals still had the finishing kick. The crowd of over 40,000, nearly split evenly between the two teams, provided one of the best atmospheres for baseball at Wrigley Field this season.

Outside the box: The harder they’re thrown, the farther they fly apparently. With a fastball touching 96 mph, Carlos Marmol looked to be the picture of confidence in the ninth inning. Beltran wasn’t lacking any confidence either, though, as he launched one onto Sheffield to tie the game. The home run ended Marmol’s streak of 19 consecutive successfully converted saves dating back to May 2.

Off beat:At least whatever the ivy takes away it gives back two fold. The Cubs appeared to miss out on tying the game in the sixth inning when Alfonso Soriano’s hit got stuck in the ivy down the left-field line and Anthony Rizzo was unable to score from first base. No worries. The Cubs got that run in and one more to take the lead on a sacrifice fly from Welington Castillo and an RBI single from Dave Sappelt.

Up next: The Cubs will send right-hander Justin Germano (2-8, 6.17 ERA) to the mound Sunday against St. Louis in the series finale and the final game between the two teams this season. The Cardinals will counter with right-hander Kyle Lohse (15-3, 2.71) in the 1:20 p.m. start from Wrigley Field.