ST. LOUIS -- Todd Wellemeyer had to work harder than usual to beat the Pittsburgh Pirates for the third time this season.
"They know me pretty well, I think that's why they were battling me," Wellemeyer said after laboring through five innings in the St. Louis Cardinals' 11-2 victory on Wednesday night. "There was no inning when I wasn't out of the stretch."
Rick Ankiel and Jason LaRue hit two-run home runs to pace a 13-hit attack. Skip Schumaker had three hits and Wellemeyer (11-4) won his fourth straight decision and added an RBI single for St. Louis, which won for only the fourth time in its last 12 games at home.
The Cardinals are an NL-best 37-29 on the road and 34-29 at home after splitting a two-game series with the Pirates. They totaled only six hits in a 4-1 loss on Tuesday.
"It shows you we can do it, a lot of good at-bats up and down the lineup," manager Tony La Russa said. "Todd was working real hard, so that's a nice cushion to give him. It was not an easy game for him."
Ryan Doumit had three hits for the second straight game including his 13th homer for Pittsburgh, but Jason Davis (1-3) failed to make it out of the fourth coming off two straight effective starts.
"I don't want this to happen again," Davis said. "I need to eat innings, and I didn't do that. If you just chalk it up, a domino effect can happen."
Doumit is hitting .538 (14-for-26) with five RBI against the Cardinals and leads NL catchers with a .333 average.
"Who cares?" Doumit said. "It has nothing to do with the game. It doesn't matter how good anybody did at the plate."
Ankiel, who has moved from center field to left field the last eight games to protect an abdominal strain, got to trot around the bases after hitting a 2-2 pitch over the fence in the third to put the Cardinals ahead 5-2. Schumaker had three singles, an RBI and scored twice from the leadoff slot and is batting 14-for-30 (.467) during a seven-game hitting streak.
LaRue, a late lineup addition at catcher when Yadier Molina was scratched with a bruised left foot, added a two-run homer in the seventh off Craig Hansen and was 2-for-3 with three RBI. Albert Pujols was 2-for-5 with two RBI.
The three-homer outburst came one day after the first game without a long ball at Busch Stadium since May 14, also against the Pirates, a stretch of 38 games.
The only damage against Wellemeyer in a 95-pitch stint was Doumit's homer, although the Pirates had runners in scoring position in every inning. He's 3-0 with a 3.45 ERA against Pittsburgh this year, all the victories coming at home, and is 4-1 with a 3.42 ERA against the Pirates during his career.
Wellemeyer drove in his fourth run of the season with an opposite-field RBI single just inside the first-base line in the second. It should have been an easy double but it rained much of the game and Wellemeyer slipped on the bag and fell rounding first.
"There were a few things going through my mind: 'Can I go to second? I actually hit the ball,"' Wellemeyer said. "When I was in the process of going down it was kind of a slow-motion effect, and I'm just glad I got back to first."
First baseman Adam LaRoche's fielding error on a grounder by Adam Kennedy led to two unearned runs in the Cardinals' three-run fourth that made it 8-2.
Pirates CF Nate McLouth missed his second straight start due to flu-like symptoms. ... Wellemeyer is 3-0 with a 2.48 ERA in his last six starts and 4-0 in his last eight outings dating to July 19. ... Molina said a foul ball hit his foot while he was catching. The Cardinals have a day off Thursday and Molina expects to be back in the lineup for the opener of a three-game series against the Braves. ... Pujols has 43 multihit games, fourth most in the NL.