ST. LOUIS -- Travis Wood felt so embarrassed by the plethora of run support he received Monday night that he had to seek out tough-luck teammate Jeff Samardzija.
"I instantly came in here and gave Samardzija a hug and said, 'Sorry,' " Wood said with a smile after the Cubs snapped out of their three-game funk by setting season highs in runs and hits in a 17-5 victory against the Cardinals.
The 17 runs were two more than Samardzija has received in his eight (winless) starts despite a 1.45 ERA.
Wood became the first Cubs starter to pitch at least six innings, allow more than three runs and still receive credit for a victory since Matt Garza did it June 16, 2011.
The Cubs' six-run ninth -- their largest rally of the season -- caused Cardinals manager Mike Matheny to employ infielder Daniel Descalso as a pitcher. Descalso, who went 25-6 in three seasons as a pitcher at St. Francis High School in Mountain View, Calif., retired Mike Olt on a fly to left.
Olt, recalling the only other time he faced a position player on the mound, said, "Surprisingly enough, I struck out."
The Cubs, led by Junior Lake's career-high six RBIs, didn't let up as they amassed 20 hits. Olt capped a four-run first by slugging his eighth home run, a two-run opposite-field shot to right that snapped an 0-for-7 slump. Lake smacked a three-run homer in the second, and Wood was hit by a pitch in the sixth, leading to a two-run rally.
But what most satisfied manager Rick Renteria was the Cubs' clutch hitting, which has deserted for most of the season. The Cubs, who were last in the majors with a .195 batting average with runners in scoring position entering Monday, went 7-for-16 and every starter had at least one hit.
"Situational hitting certainly took a step up, and it's just one game," Renteria said. "But they did a nice job of trying to capitalize on situational hitting, advancing runners and trying to do what they're supposed to do with the baseball, (whether) it's the infield in or get a fly ball for a sacrifice fly."
Emilio Bonifacio snapped out of a 3-for-28 slump with four hits, and he scored a career-high five runs -- the most by a Cub since Jody Davis scored five times against the Astros on June 3, 1987.
Darwin Barney had three hits for his second consecutive multi-hit game.
The Cubs' 17 runs were their most against the Cardinals since Sept. 21, 1974 in a 19-4 win.
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