Pittsburgh at St. Louis

St. Louis
W: J. Pineiro (5-3) L: M. Morris (8-9)
S: R. Franklin (1)
HR: PIT - None   STL - R. Branyan (10)

Cardinals 6, Pirates 2

CBSSports.com wire reports

ST. LOUIS -- Joel Pineiro may have found himself a home in the St. Louis Cardinals rotation.

Pineiro, stuck in the Boston Red Sox bullpen before his trade to St. Louis on July 30, won for the fourth time in six starts as the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 6-2 on Tuesday night.

The Cardinals moved back over .500 with the win and closed to one game behind the Chicago Cubs in the NL Central. The Brewers are ahead of the Cardinals, a half-game behind the Cubs.

Pineiro (4-2) allowed two runs and eight hits in 5 2/3 innings.

"He's got good stuff," pitching coach Dave Duncan said. "As soon as he believes in it as much as I do he'll be a better pitcher.

"He still thinks he has to do more to be a good pitcher and when he realizes that he's not going to be in the fifth inning with 90-some pitches."

Pineiro has a 3.63 ERA in seven starts since joining the Cardinals. As a reliever with the Red Sox, Pineiro had a 5.03 ERA in 31 games.

"I've put my name back on track and I'm reviving myself as a starter," Pineiro said. "That's all I want to do. You keep the damage to a minimum."

Chris Duncan hit a three-run double to back Pineiro.

"It felt good to contribute," said Duncan, who had been in an 0-for-13 slump. "I've been struggling and grinding, trying to get through it."

Russell Branyan homered for St. Louis in his first start since being acquired from the Phillies four days earlier. Not known as a great fielder, he also made three nice plays at third base, each time on well-hit grounders by Josh Pearce. Rick Ankiel and Jim Edmonds had an RBI apiece in the first inning for the Cardinals, who have won five of six.

Matt Morris (8-9) struggled in his second start in St. Louis as a visiting player. Morris, whose 101 wins rank 10th on the Cardinals' career list, lasted five innings and gave up five runs and five hits.

"They were just trying to hit fastballs the other way and sitting on some breaking stuff," Morris said. "We scored two runs and then give up three with two outs, that's tough to take."

Nyjer Morgan and Jose Bautista each drove in a run in the third for the Pirates, who have lost six of seven. Jack Wilson singled twice, giving him six hits the last two games.

But Pittsburgh stranded 10 runners, leaving two on in four innings and the bases loaded in the eighth.

"That game basically boils down to the fact that they took the big at-bat with two outs and the bases loaded in the third inning, and we had several opportunities in need of a two-out hit and weren't able to get it," Pirates manager Jim Tracy said. "When you've got people on, you need to get a hit here or there."

David Eckstein and Ankiel doubled to open the bottom of the first, and Ankiel eventually scored on Edmonds' sacrifice fly for a 2-0 lead. The Pirates bunched three hits and a walk in the third, with Morgan getting a run-scoring groundout and Bautista hitting an RBI double to tie it at 2.

The Cardinals loaded the bases in the third on Eckstein's single and walks to Ankiel and Edmonds. Duncan cleared them with an opposite-field drive into the left-field corner on a full count fastball.

"I was just basically looking for something out over the plate, and I thought he would stay soft with me, but he fell behind," Duncan said. "I just wanted to be aggressive after he fell behind."

Branyan hit his 10th homer off Franquelis Osoria, connecting for his third team this season, in the sixth for a 6-2 cushion. He hit seven for the Padres and two for the Phillies, and is 4-for-11 for his career at Busch Stadium.

The Pirates had the bases loaded with two outs in the eighth before Ryan Franklin got pinch hitter Nate McLouth on a broken-bat popup to second base. Miguel Cairo spread his legs apart after the catch to avoid the shattered bat, and Franklin worked a perfect ninth for his first career save.


A runaway squirrel entertained a sellout crowd during the early innings, emerging from the Cardinals' bullpen and wandering the warning track. Stadium personnel captured it in a barrel near the Pirates' dugout, the squirrel quickly jumped out into the stands, and was eventually caught again and then released outside the stadium. ... The Cardinals are 16-5 in their last 21 home games. ... Freddy Sanchez, coming off consecutive three-hit games, was 0-for-3 with two walks. ... Albert Pujols, who entered 6-for-9 with two homers against Morris, was a quiet 0-for-3 on Tuesday.

Copyright 2017 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.
Players of the Game

R. Paulino
AB 4
R 1
H 3
HR 0
St. Louis

D. Eckstein
AB 4
R 2
H 3
HR 0

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Pittsburgh Pirates
Nyjer Morgan, CF5001010 .286
Jose Bautista, 3B5021010 .260
Freddy Sanchez, 2B3000200 .316
Adam LaRoche, 1B4020004 .267
Jason Bay, LF4010002 .253
Steve Pearce, RF4000003 .214
Ronny Paulino, C4130002 .253
Jack Wilson, SS3120101 .278
Matt Morris, P1000010 .196
   a- Josh Phelps, PH1000002 .317
    Franquelis Osoria, P0000000 .000
    John Grabow, P0000000 .000
   b- Nate McLouth, PH1000003 .246
    Romulo Sanchez, P0000000 .000
a-hit into fielder's choice for Morris in the 6th
b-popped out for Grabow in the 8th
2B - Jose Bautista 2 (32, Pineiro, Pineiro)
SH - Matt Morris (9)
RBI - Nyjer Morgan (1), Jose Bautista (56)
2-OUT RBI - Jose Bautista (20)
SB - Steve Pearce (1, 2nd base off Pineiro/Molina)
PK - Steve Pearce (1, Pineiro)
Team LOB - 10
DP - LaRoche-J. Wilson-F. Sanchez
E - Jose Bautista (15, Misplayed grounder)
Pittsburgh Pirates
Matt Morris (L,8-9) 5555320 4.54
Franquelis Osoria 1111001 3.78
John Grabow 1000020 3.30
Romulo Sanchez 1100000 1.17
Pitches-Strikes - Matt Morris 89-53, Franquelis Osoria 9-9, John Grabow 14-9, Romulo Sanchez 8-4
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Matt Morris 7-6, Franquelis Osoria 3-1, John Grabow 1-0, Romulo Sanchez 2-0
Batters Faced - Matt Morris 23, Franquelis Osoria 5, John Grabow 3, Romulo Sanchez 3
St. Louis Cardinals
David Eckstein, SS4230001 .293
Rick Ankiel, RF3211112 .342
Albert Pujols, 1B4000001 .315
Jim Edmonds, CF2101110 .248
    Ryan Franklin, P0000000 .500
Chris Duncan, LF3013010 .264
    Russ Springer, P0000000 .000
    Troy Percival, P0000000 .000
    Skip Schumaker, CF1010000 .317
Yadier Molina, C4000002 .280
Russell Branyan, 3B4111000 .204
Joel Pineiro, P1000110 .091
    Ryan Ludwick, LF1000000 .248
Miguel Cairo, 2B3000001 .237
2B - David Eckstein (14, Morris), Rick Ankiel (5, Morris), Chris Duncan (20, Morris)
HR - Russell Branyan (10, Osoria)
SF - Jim Edmonds (2)
RBI - Rick Ankiel (20), Jim Edmonds (42), Chris Duncan 3 (69), Russell Branyan (25)
2-OUT RBI - Chris Duncan 3 (26)
Team LOB - 4
St. Louis Cardinals
Joel Pineiro (W,5-3) 5.2822220 4.28
Russ Springer (H,10) 1.1000010 2.47
Troy Percival 0.2200100 2.33
Ryan Franklin (S,1) 1.1000000 1.93
Pitches-Strikes - Joel Pineiro 107-64, Russ Springer 15-10, Troy Percival 18-11, Ryan Franklin 9-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Joel Pineiro 9-5, Russ Springer 1-2
Batters Faced - Joel Pineiro 26, Russ Springer 4, Troy Percival 5, Ryan Franklin 4
Game Information
Attendance - 42300
Game Time - 2:35
Temperature - 84
Umpires - Home - Bruce Froemming, First Base - Mark Wegner, Second Base - Brian Knight, Third Base - Mike Winters