A former Cardinals prospect who had to take the long way back to the majors upended the Cards on Monday with a base hit off a one-time teammate who makes his living with fierce brevity.

On closer Jason Motte's 31st pitch of the ninth inning, Cubs third baseman Joe Mather struck a two-out, two-run single for a 3-2 victory at Wrigley Field. Down to his final strike, Mather, the Cardinals' third-round pick in the 2001 draft, poked a groundball base hit up the middle to give Motte his first blown save of the season and shatter the gem pitched by Cardinals lefty Jaime Garcia.

"'Super Joe' came through," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said.

Mather had the hit that won the game, but pinch-hitter Bryan LaHair had the walk that changed it.