Tony Womack singled in the go-ahead run and the Chicago Cubs ended a spirited five-game series by beating the St. Louis Cardinals 7-6 Thursday despite Sammy Sosa's ejection.

The Cubs won four of five and moved within a half-game of idle Houston for first place in the NL Central. St. Louis is in third, a game behind the Astros.

The series featured a little bit of everything: a rain delay of more than four hours Monday; a day-night doubleheader that included a 15-inning opener; the ejections of three Cubs players and pitching coach Larry Rothschild; a shouting match between managers Dusty Baker and Tony La Russa; and a stunning comeback by the Cubs to win Wednesday after trailing 6-0.

Womack, who entered in a double switch in the top of the seventh, singled in the bottom half off Mike DeJean (5-8), who had walked Moises Alou and hit Aramis Ramirez with a pitch.

DeJean then got out of a bases-loaded jam by slipping a third strike past Randall Simon called by plate umpire Bill Hohn, the center of numerous complaints all day by the Cubs. Baseball: 2B

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