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Pittsburgh at St. Louis

Scoreboard
Pittsburgh «1100110015100
St. Louis000100200362

Pirates 5, Cardinals 3

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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ST. LOUIS -- It's on to Wrigley Field for the St. Louis Cardinals, denied a chance to clinch a tie for the NL Central title at home when the last-place Pittsburgh Pirates avoided a three-game sweep.

Brad Eldred hit a pair of solo shots for his first multihomer game and the Pirates' bullpen worked 7 1/3 innings after Oliver Perez was ejected, keeping the Cardinals' magic number for clinching the division at two with a 5-3 victory Wednesday.

"It feels good to play them tough, not have them clinch against us," Pittsburgh interim manager Pete Mackanin said. "We didn't make it easy for them."

The Pirates won for only the fourth time in 19 games. The Cardinals completed a 6-4 homestand and begin a 10-game road trip that starts with a four-game series in Chicago on Thursday.

Second baseman Mark Grudzielanek said it would have been more satisfying to clinch in Chicago if the Cubs had a contending team.

"If they might have been a little bit closer it would probably be a little more special," Grudzielanek said. "But it's one of those things where I don't think they've really got their thing together."

Closing in on their fifth playoff berth in six years, the Cardinals could still clinch a tie for the NL Central championship later Wednesday night with a Houston loss to Florida.

Jason Bay homered, doubled and drove in two runs off Jason Marquis (12-14) for the Pirates, who finished 4-12 against the Cardinals this season. Bay is 10-for-19 against Marquis with three homers, four doubles, a triple and eight RBIs, and he added a third hit with a single in the seventh.

Eldred, the Pirates' minor league player of the year last season, homered leading off the second and hit his ninth over the visitors' bullpen in left field with one out in the sixth for a 4-1 lead.

Perez was ejected with two outs in the second inning after hitting Hector Luna in the left leg with a pitch during an otherwise quiet game between teams that feuded recently. Perez was on the 15-day disabled list with a broken big toe when the teams had a pregame scuffle on Aug. 24 in Pittsburgh that led to suspensions of Pirates batting coach Gerald Perry and Cardinals pitching coach Dave Duncan along with then-Pirates manager Lloyd McClendon.

This was Perry's first game back after an eight-game banishment. Plate umpire Eric Cooper appeared to warn Marquis before the top of the third.

Cooper said he was alerted by Bob Watson, baseball's vice president of on-field operations, about potential trouble between the teams before the series. He also noted that Luna was at the center of the confrontation in Pittsburgh after his hard slide knocked out second baseman Jose Castillo for the season with a knee injury.

"He had been hit once before in the series," Cooper told a pool reporter. "It was certain given the variables I had to work with in that particular game, in that particular situation with the pitcher hitting behind him, I thought he was throwing at him intentionally."

Perez denied he plunked Luna on purpose.

"I had a no-hitter, that is why I was so surprised," Perez said. "I want to show what I can do. There's no way I would ever throw at anybody intentionally."

Mackanin understood Cooper's view.

"I can see why he's suspicious," he said. "But we had played two clean games."

Mike Gonzalez, the Pirates' seventh pitcher, got two outs for his second save. He struck out pinch-hitter Reggie Sanders and retired So Taguchi on a grounder with runners at second and third for Pittsburgh's first save in 28 games. Ryan Vogelsong (2-1) allowed a run in 2 1-3 innings.

Bay hit his 29th homer in the first, and Eldred's first homer made it 2-0. Bay's RBI double made it 3-1 in the fifth.

Einar Diaz's RBI double came in the fourth. Leadoff walks issued by John Grabow to David Eckstein and Grudzielanek in the seventh helped the Cardinals cut the gap to one on Albert Pujols' run-scoring groundout and John Gall's sacrifice fly to the left-field wall, both off Jose Mesa.

Tike Redman's RBI double in the ninth off Julian Tavarez put the Pirates ahead 5-3.

Marquis lasted six innings and gave up four runs, three earned, and eight hits. He won his previous three starts, two of them complete games.

"Mentally, I feel great," Marquis said. "You have games where you get beat even though you've thrown the ball well."

Notes

The Cardinals received approval from Major League Baseball to begin selling tickets for the postseason on Sept. 19. ... Hall of Famer Stan Musial participated in the Busch Stadium countdown, removing his uniform No. 6 from the right-field wall. ... Bay scored his 100th run, become the first Pirates player to reach the century mark since Brian Giles in 2001. ... Grudzielanek returned to the Cardinals' lineup after missing seven games with a lower back injury and was 2-for-4 with a walk. ... A paid crowd of 40,172 was the Cardinals' 37th straight of 40,000 or more.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Players of the Game
Pittsburgh

B. Eldred
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 2
RBI 2
Pittsburgh

J. Bay
AB 5
R 1
H 3
HR 1
RBI 2
 
Pittsburgh Pirates
Nate McLouth, CF5000011 .235
Jack Wilson, SS5000033 .249
Jason Bay, LF5132011 .301
Rob Mackowiak, 3B4020003 .279
Craig Wilson, RF3010013 .255
    Josh Fogg, P0000000 .106
    John Grabow, P0000000 .000
    Jose Mesa, P0000000 .000
   a- Jason Furmaniak, PH1000010 .200
    Salomon Torres, P0000000 .500
    Mike Gonzalez, P0000000 .000
Ryan Doumit, C4000002 .244
Brad Eldred, 1B4222010 .255
Freddy Sanchez, 2B4100010 .270
Oliver Perez, P1000000 .179
    Ryan Vogelsong, P0000000 .125
   b- Tike Redman, PH-RF3121000 .251
Totals3951050913 
a-struck out for Mesa in the 8th
b-singled for Vogelsong in the 5th
Batting
2B - Jason Bay (41, Marquis), Tike Redman (11, Tavarez)
HR - Jason Bay (29, Marquis), Brad Eldred 2 (9, Marquis, Marquis)
RBI - Jason Bay 2 (85), Brad Eldred 2 (20), Tike Redman (24)
2-OUT RBI - Jason Bay (30)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - Mackowiak-F. Sanchez-Eldred
Pittsburgh Pirates
Oliver Perez 1.2000200 6.04
Ryan Vogelsong (W,2-1) 2.1211220 4.68
Josh Fogg (H,1) 2200110 4.88
John Grabow0022200 4.11
Jose Mesa (H,1) 1000010 4.73
Salomon Torres (H,7) 1.1200110 3.09
Mike Gonzalez (S,2) 0.2000010 3.16
HBP - Luna (by Oliver Perez)
WP - Ryan Vogelsong (6), Jose Mesa (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Oliver Perez 31-0, Ryan Vogelsong 39-0, Josh Fogg 34-0, John Grabow 9-0, Jose Mesa 13-0, Salomon Torres 23-0, Mike Gonzalez 4-0
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Oliver Perez 3-2, Ryan Vogelsong 2-2, Jose Mesa 1-1, Salomon Torres 1-2, Mike Gonzalez 1-0
Batters Faced - Oliver Perez 8, Ryan Vogelsong 10, Josh Fogg 9, John Grabow 2, Jose Mesa 3, Salomon Torres 7, Mike Gonzalez 2
St. Louis Cardinals
David Eckstein, SS1000200 .288
    John Rodriguez, RF0100200 .304
Mark Grudzielanek, 2B4120101 .294
Albert Pujols, 1B4001101 .335
John Gall, LF3001013 .231
   a- Larry Walker, PH0000000 .270
   b- Reggie Sanders, PH1000012 .274
So Taguchi, CF5110014 .293
Scott Seabol, 3B3000021 .200
   c- John Mabry, PH-3B1000000 .252
Einar Diaz, C2021100 .210
   d- Skip Schumaker, PH1000000 .231
    Julian Tavarez, P0000000 .000
Hector Luna, RF-SS1000101 .282
   e- Abraham Nunez, PH-SS1010000 .295
Jason Marquis, P2000004 .321
   f- Jim Edmonds, PH1000001 .260
    Cal Eldred, P0000000 .000
   g- Chris Duncan, PH1000011 .000
    Yadier Molina, C0000000 .256
Totals313638619 
a-announced for Gall in the 9th
b-struck out for Walker in the 9th
c-lined out for Seabol in the 8th
d-flied out for Diaz in the 8th
e-singled for Luna in the 8th
f-flied out for Marquis in the 6th
g-struck out for Eldred in the 8th
Batting
2B - Einar Diaz (6, Vogelsong)
SF - John Gall (1)
RBI - Albert Pujols (109), John Gall (7), Einar Diaz (17)
2-OUT RBI - Einar Diaz (4)
SB - So Taguchi (11, 2nd base off Vogelsong/Doumit)
Team LOB - 11
Fielding
E - Jason Marquis (2, Wild throw), Abraham Nunez (12, Misplayed grounder)
St. Louis Cardinals
Jason Marquis (L,12-14) 6843053 4.13
Cal Eldred 2100020 1.59
Julian Tavarez 1110020 3.15
WP - Jason Marquis (10)
Pitches-Strikes - Jason Marquis 101-0, Cal Eldred 23-0, Julian Tavarez 16-0
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jason Marquis 6-8, Cal Eldred 2-2, Julian Tavarez 1-1
Batters Faced - Jason Marquis 27, Cal Eldred 7, Julian Tavarez 5
Game Information
Attendance - 40172
Game Time - 3:07
Temperature - 75
Umpires - Home - Eric Cooper, First Base - Field Culbreth, Second Base - Marvin Hudson, Third Base - Larry Young