Mistakes come back to haunt Cubs

CHICAGO -- The games get bigger when you play your division rivals. And when you fail to play solid fundamental baseball, it usually ends up beating you.

Cardinals baserunners took advantage of the Cubs’ errant cutoff throws and errors of omission all evening long in their 6-4 victory on Tuesday night.

One play in particular personified the Cubs’ frustrating evening as shortstop Starlin Castro failed to cut off a throw from right fielder Kosuke Fukudome in the eighth inning, leading to the winning runs for the Cardinals.

“[Castro] should have cut the ball and had a shot at [Matt] Holliday at second base,” Cubs manager Mike Quade said. “Was [Castro] on line? Was he in a position to cut it? We thought he was for sure.”

Castro let the ball go through and the end result was the fifth and sixth runs eventually scoring on a two-out single off of reliever Kerry Wood. The Cardinals’ Daniel Descalso did the damage after Wood threw him five straight cut fastballs.

“Cutters,” Wood said. “That’s what we were throwing. We were one pitch away. It actually wasn’t a bad pitch. It was up and in and at his belt. He got his hands in and got to it.”

Carlos Zambrano watched his team score only four runs on 13 singles as the Cubs failed to get an extra-base hit but he said he’s not concerning himself with the offense.

“My job is to pitch and control what I can on the mound,” Zambrano said.

Theriot not welcomed: Shortstop Ryan Theriot was roundly booed by the crowd before each of his five at-bats.

Tuesday’s game was the first time Theriot had returned to Wrigley Field since he was traded last July to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Wells, Cashner rehab: Right-handed pitchers Randy Wells and Andrew Cashner are both progressing nicely at the Cubs’ minor-league complex in Mesa, Ariz., throwing rounds of batting practice on Monday.

The Cubs have scheduled Wells to pitch in an extended spring training game on Thursday, Wells’ first competitive outing since going on the disabled list on April 8 with a right forearm strain.

Cashner will do at least one more round of live BP pitching on Thursday.

If everything goes all right for Wells , the Cubs say he could be sent out on a minor-league rehab start as early as next week.