The Cubs and Cardinals have played 20,321 games since 1876, but few have had stranger endings than Tuesday night's affair at Busch Stadium.

Second base umpire Fieldin Culbreth called Cardinals runner Shane Robinson out for interference for trying to take out Starlin Castro on a potential double play grounder, giving the Cubs a 4-2 victory before 44,139 red clad, shell-shocked fans.

"It wasn't even close," Castro said of Robinson's slide. "You can (slide) hard, that's OK, but you have to throw (near the base) with your hands. But not like that. I can't throw the ball because he tried to kill me."

The double play gave Jeff Samardzija his first victory since his complete game shutout over the White Sox on May 27, and knotted up the series at 1-1.

Samardzija left with a 4-1 lead with two on and one out in the ninth before Yadier Molina's RBI single off closer Kevin Gregg conjured up the kind of nightmarish finish that Cubs fans have grown to expect. Manager Dale Sveum said he didn't know or care what Culbreth saw on the controversial slide by Robinson, a pinch-runner.

"Finally got a call in this place," he said. "I know that. Had some bad walk-offs in this place. Whatever it was, it was a good call for us. I can't see from the dugout what happened."

The Cubs have gone through the ringer this week, going from a 14-inning victory over the Reds to being on the verge of a sweep in New York to having the world collapse around them after Carlos Marmol's blown save Sunday. To say they needed this victory, no matter what their record, was a bit of an understatement.

"Chicago Cubs!" Samardzija said. "There's always something going on and something being talked about. So if you can't deal with that, you better go play somewhere else. We're a great team in here. We get along real well.

"Despite different things that happen throughout the year, that's how it goes. With the (blown game) in New York and (Monday's loss) and the situation I'm in, I wanted to come out and do a job for this team and get us back on track."

Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright came in with five-game winning streak, a 2.18 ERA and league-leading 10 victories. But the Cubs are one of the few teams he hasn't dominated. He came in with a 6-5 career record against them, along with a 4.46 ERA.