St. Louis at Pittsburgh

Scoreboard
St. Louis (50-53) «1001012106101
Pittsburgh (42-62)0101001104121

Cardinals 6, Pirates 4

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
  •  

PITTSBURGH -- The St. Louis Cardinals climbed back into the NL Central race by twice rallying from big deficits against Milwaukee last weekend. The Pittsburgh Pirates should have known better than to give them a second chance.

Two misplays by Pirates catcher Ronny Paulino in the same at-bat helped St. Louis score the go-ahead run in the sixth inning, and the Cardinals won their fourth in a row by extending Pittsburgh's July slide with a 6-4 victory Tuesday night.

The Cardinals matched their longest winning streak of the season and Adam Wainwright (10-8) limited the Pirates to two runs over six innings.

David Eckstein and Skip Schumaker hit consecutive sacrifice flies during a two-run seventh inning and the Cardinals won their 38th in 53 games in PNC Park -- easily the best record of any team since the ballpark opened in 2001.

The Pirates wasted another effective start by Paul Maholm (7-13) and two RBI by Jack Wilson to lose their 14th in 16 games since the All-Star break. Maholm, the only Pirates pitcher to win since July 8, held St. Louis to two earned runs over six innings and probably should have gotten out of the sixth inning without allowing a run.

He retired the first two batters before Scott Rolen singled. Maholm got Ryan Ludwick to hit a routine popup behind the plate, but Paulino was slow to turn and look for the ball and didn't appear to see it until it bounced off his glove for his 17th error in two seasons.

Ludwick promptly doubled to center, though the Pirates appeared to have Rolen thrown out at the plate. But Paulino dropped shortstop Wilson's relay throw and Rolen scored. Paulino was not charged with an error for the dropped throw and Ludwick was credited with an RBI double.

"I don't know why that happens," Ludwick said, referring to how many times a batter seems to get a hit after being given second life during an at-bat. "They say bad things happen to a (losing) team when that happens. All I know is I got a good pitch to hit."

If it's bad, it's bound to happen to these Pirates. Fittingly, Paulino led off the bottom of the sixth and was denied an apparent extra-base hit when left fielder Ludwick stretched out to make an excellent catch.

Afterward, manager Jim Tracy was upset that yet another dropped throw at the plate by Paulino cost the Pirates again. There is no statistic for such plays but, as Tracy said, "I don't know (why it happens), but there have been a bunch of them."

Maholm was more supportive of his catcher, who was booed loudly during the misplay and again during his next two at-bats.

"That's one of the hardest balls to catch," Maholm said. "I had a chance to make a pitch and get out of the inning and I didn't get out of it. I could have gotten him off the hook."

Except with his manager. Tracy said of the number of dropped throws, "Something has to happen there."

It did again for the Cardinals an inning later as Aaron Miles singled and pinch-hitter Chris Duncan doubled to start the seventh against reliever Salomon Torres, and Eckstein and Schumaker followed with sacrifice flies to make it 5-2.

"That's how winning teams do it," Wainwright said. "You get runs however you can."

Rolen doubled and scored on another sacrifice fly, by Yadier Molina, in the eighth. The Pirates got the run back when Ryan Doumit ended an 0-for-20 slide with a homer to right off Ryan Franklin. Molina also had an RBI single in the fourth.

Jason Isringhausen pitched the ninth inning for his 21st save in 23 opportunities.

The Cardinals built on winning the final three of their four-game series against Milwaukee, when they came back from deficits of five and six runs.

"We're playing hard right now," Ludwick said. "It's fun, a lot of fun."

Wilson had two RBI singles and Jason Bay added another while getting three hits for the Pirates, who lost their fourth in a row and seventh in eight games to fall a season-worst 20 games under .500. They must win 39 of their final 58 to dodge a 15th consecutive losing season, one short of the Phillies' major league record.

Wainwright, 2-1 in four starts against Pittsburgh this season and 4-1 overall in July, gave up eight hits, walked one and struck out three. Maholm allowed six hits.

Pirates center fielder Xavier Nady was lifted with a sore hamstring while running the bases in the fourth inning, but it isn't certain how long he will be out.

Notes

Pittsburgh was 7-17 in July. St. Louis was 15-11. ... Pirates 3B Jose Bautista (hand) might skip a scheduled minor league rehabilitation trip and rejoin the Pirates on Wednesday. ... Maholm is the only Pirates pitcher to win since Shane Youman beat the Cubs on July 8. ... St. Louis is 7-2 against the Pirates.
 
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
St. Louis

S. Rolen
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 0
RBI 0
Pittsburgh

J. Bay
AB 4
R 1
H 3
HR 0
RBI 1
 

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St. Louis Cardinals
David Eckstein, SS3101101 .300
So Taguchi, CF3011011 .297
   a- Skip Schumaker, PH-CF1001010 .304
Albert Pujols, 1B3110101 .319
Juan Encarnacion, RF4010012 .293
Scott Rolen, 3B4220012 .272
Ryan Ludwick, LF2011000 .247
Yadier Molina, C3012001 .252
Aaron Miles, 2B4110000 .281
Adam Wainwright, P2010000 .270
   b- Chris Duncan, PH1110000 .288
    Russ Springer, P0000000 .000
    Randy Flores, P0000000 .000
    Ryan Franklin, P0000000 .000
   c- Scott Spiezio, PH1000000 .282
    Jason Isringhausen, P0000000 .000
Totals31610624  
a-hit a sacrifice fly for Taguchi in the 7th
b-doubled for Wainwright in the 7th
c-grounded out for Franklin in the 9th
Batting
2B - So Taguchi (12, Maholm), Albert Pujols (24, Torres), Scott Rolen (18, Chacon), Ryan Ludwick (13, Maholm), Chris Duncan (17, Torres)
SF - David Eckstein (4), Skip Schumaker (2), Yadier Molina (4)
SH - Ryan Ludwick (2)
RBI - David Eckstein (16), So Taguchi (18), Skip Schumaker (11), Ryan Ludwick (27), Yadier Molina 2 (17)
2-OUT RBI - Ryan Ludwick (7), Yadier Molina (8)
CS - Ryan Ludwick (1, Home by Maholm/Paulino)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
DP - Eckstein-Miles-Pujols
E - Scott Rolen (5, Misplayed grounder)
St. Louis Cardinals
Adam Wainwright (W,10-8) 6822130 4.38
Russ Springer (H,8) 0.1311000 2.97
Randy Flores (H,10) 0.2000000 4.38
Ryan Franklin (H,17) 1111001 1.33
Jason Isringhausen (S,21) 1000110 1.42
Pitches-Strikes - Adam Wainwright 101-0, Russ Springer 11-0, Randy Flores 2-0, Ryan Franklin 19-0, Jason Isringhausen 20-0
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Adam Wainwright 4-11, Russ Springer 1-0, Randy Flores 1-0, Ryan Franklin 2-2, Jason Isringhausen 1-1
Batters Faced - Adam Wainwright 27, Russ Springer 4, Randy Flores 1, Ryan Franklin 5, Jason Isringhausen 4
Pittsburgh Pirates
Freddy Sanchez, 2B5010003 .290
Cesar Izturis, 3B5110001 .245
Adam LaRoche, 1B4010101 .244
Jason Bay, LF4131111 .258
Xavier Nady, CF2020000 .289
    Nate McLouth, PR-CF3100024 .231
Ryan Doumit, RF4111005 .273
Ronny Paulino, C4000002 .237
Jack Wilson, SS4022000 .252
Paul Maholm, P2010012 .190
   a- Matt Kata, PH1000000 .194
    Salomon Torres, P0000000 .000
    Shawn Chacon, P0000000 .273
   b- Josh Phelps, PH1000000 .272
    John Grabow, P0000000 .000
Totals39412424  
a-flied out for Maholm in the 6th
b-grounded out for Chacon in the 8th
Batting
HR - Ryan Doumit (8, Franklin)
RBI - Jason Bay (67), Ryan Doumit (28), Jack Wilson 2 (28)
2-OUT RBI - Jack Wilson 2 (8)
Team LOB - 10
Fielding
DP - J. Wilson-F. Sanchez-LaRoche
E - Ronny Paulino (6, Dropped fly)
Pittsburgh Pirates
Paul Maholm (L,7-13) 6632230 4.50
Salomon Torres 1322000 5.00
Shawn Chacon 1111000 3.79
John Grabow 1000010 4.65
HBP - Ludwick (by Paul Maholm)
Pitches-Strikes - Paul Maholm 106-0, Salomon Torres 25-0, Shawn Chacon 18-0, John Grabow 8-0
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Paul Maholm 8-5, Salomon Torres 1-2, Shawn Chacon 2-1, John Grabow 2-0
Batters Faced - Paul Maholm 25, Salomon Torres 6, Shawn Chacon 4, John Grabow 3
Game Information
Attendance - 24085
Game Time - 2:59
Temperature - 87
Umpires - Home - Hunter Wendelstedt, First Base - Randy Marsh, Second Base - Bob Davidson, Third Base - Brian Knight