ST. LOUIS – No doubt, the St. Louis Cardinals bring out the best in Darwin Barney.
The Cubs' eighth-place hitter is likely a blip on the scouting report with a .215 average and lack of power. Yet he had a pair of two-RBI games to end the series and is 9 for 19 with eight RBIs his last five games against the Cardinals.
"I don't know what my numbers are against them, I really have no idea," Barney said after the Cardinals ended a four-game losing streak and avoided a sweep with an 8-4 victory Sunday.
Maybe, Barney theorized, it's because they're in the same division. He's batting .317 against the Cardinals overall with two homers and 10 RBIs in 41 at-bats and .202 with four homers and 25 RBIs against everyone else in 326 at-bats.
"You see a team a lot and you feel comfortable going to their stadium, I think that might have something to do with it," he said. "Sometimes when you go somewhere where you go once a year, you're not as comfortable."
The Cubs took the first two games for their first series win in St. Louis since a three-game sweep Sept. 13-15, 2010. They'd been 0-6-1 the seven series since then.
"You're always trying to win a series and obviously it's always nice to sweep," Barney said. "But anytime you can take two out of three here, it's definitely a good thing."
Edwin Jackson allowed four runs in five innings, setting the tone for a staff that struggled throughout the series finale. His last two starts, Jackson has allowed 11 runs in 10 innings.
"He was missing location bad," manager Dale Sveum said. "He got away with some stuff, got some double plays, balls were hit pretty hard."
Pete Kozma, the Cardinals' eighth-place hitter, singled home the tiebreaking run in the sixth inning.
Matt Carpenter and Allen Craig each had three hits and drove in a run. Jon Jay and David Freese both drove in two runs, though they only had one hit between them.
The Cardinals dropped five of six to begin a 10-game homestand.
Edward Mujica worked the last two innings for his 31st save in 33 chances, overcoming Starlin Castro's leadoff double in the eighth while working with a one-run cushion.
Randy Choate (2-1) faced one batter, getting leadoff man David DeJesus to pop out with two men on to end the sixth after the Cubs had tied it at 4 on RBI singles by Castro and Darwin Barney off Seth Maness.
Tony Cruz doubled with two outs in the sixth off Blake Parker (1-2) and scored easily on Kozma's single. Parker was the winner Saturday with an inning of relief.
Jay added a sacrifice fly in the seventh off Hector Rondon and the Cardinals got RBIs from Carpenter and Craig in the eighth off Michael Bowden.
The Cardinals combined two singles, a walk, a steal and a sacrifice fly off Jackson in a three-run first. Matt Holliday had one of the RBIs plus a steal off Jackson's slow move to the plate, before Jackson finally retaliated by picking off Jay.
Holliday handed the Cubs an unearned run in the third when he camped under Junior Lake's two-out high fly to medium left but then whiffed on the catch and DeJesus scored from first.
NOTES: Cardinals OF Carlos Beltran fouled a ball off his right foot in the fifth, got medical attention on the field and then struck out before leaving with a bruise. X-rays were negative and he hopes to play Tuesday against the Central-leading Pirates.. ... Holliday grounded into his major league-leading 26th double play in the fifth. ... The Cubs' Darnell McDonald walked pinch-hitting in the seventh in his first at-bat of the year. He's the 50th player used by the Cubs, most in the majors. ... The Cardinals' last two wins have come in starts by Joe Kelly. He allowed three earned runs in 5 1-3 innings. ... Castro had three hits for a two-day total of five and is batting .536 (15 for 28) his last seven games against St. Louis.