The Cardinals handed the Cubs a 21-hit salute en route to a 10-6 loss Sunday night at Wrigley Field.

The Cubs had tied the game 6-6 in dramatic fashion when pinch-hitter Cody Ransom delivered a two-run double in the bottom of the eighth. But Cubs closer Kevin Gregg gave up four runs in the top of the ninth, including a three-run homer by All-Star catcher Yadier Molina.

“You have to give their hitters a lot of credit. That’s why they are the best-hitting team in baseball,” Cubs manager Dale Sveum said.

While the Cardinals rapped out 21 hits, Cubs starter Travis Wood kept his team in the game by allowing just three runs over 5 2/3 innings. He gave up 10 hits.

"You've got to bring your 'A' game every time you're facing them," said Wood, who said he will be available to throw a couple of innings in Tuesday night’s All-Star game.

"The command of all my pitches was there. They put together some good swings and put hits together. They kept hitting balls and manufacturing runs. That's what good teams do."

Wood has provided the Cubs with remarkable quality this season.

He was taken out with just one out to go to finish the top of the sixth inning. It would have been his 18th quality performance.

He would have become the first Cubs pitcher ever to deliver that many quality starts before the All-Star break, according to STATS Inc. Wood is the fourth Cubs pitcher to have 17 quality starts before the break, joining Bill Hands (1969), Fergie Jenkins ('69) and Greg Maddux ('88).

“He had thrown four not-so-good pitches. It was just time,” Sveum said. “It just looked like he lost it-- the velocity and the life on his ball.”

Wood did not have his best stuff, yet managed to keep the Cubs in the game.