St. Louis Cardinals defeat Chicago Cubs, 3-2

John Smoltz, 42, must be all right.

A week after accepting a cortisone injection to his right shoulder Smoltz crammed 108 pitches into six innings Friday night against the Chicago Cubs.

How Smoltz recovers won't be known for a couple of days. That he can control a game after a combustible start became apparent immediately.

Threatened with a first-inning breakout, Smoltz held the Cubs long enough for a sputtering offense to force a fifth-inning tie before finding a dr...

Chicago Cubs manager Lou Piniella, his team's two-year reign as National League Central Division champions all but over, lamented before Friday night's game with the Cardinals that "it's a shame coming here that we couldn't be closer. I was looking forward to this on the schedule. But what are you gonna do? We've done the best we can."

Piniella was referring to the high number of injuries his team had suffered this season.

"We lost a lot of key people for a long time...