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St. Louis (0-1)0020000204101

Wilson's three-run double in ninth rallies Pirates

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ST. LOUIS -- Jack Wilson waited until the Pittsburgh Pirates were down to their last strike before coming through.

Wilson's three-run double on an 0-2 fastball capped a four-run ninth inning off hard-throwing Jason Motte, leading Pittsburgh to an opening 6-4 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals.

"That first one, he blew by me pretty easily," Wilson said. "Then I kind of stayed back and it felt pretty good. Just try to get it out there, put it in play, and then you have a chance."

In a game played in 41-degree chill, Ryan Ludwick broke a 2-2 tie with a leadoff homer in the eighth off Tyler Yates, and David Freese added a sacrifice fly off John Grabow (1-0) for a 4-2 lead.

Freddy Sanchez led off the ninth with a double off Motte, who won a three-way battle for the closer's job in spring training. Adam LaRoche singled in a run with two outs, pinch-hitter Eric Hinske doubled LaRoche to third and Brandon Moss was hit by a pitch before Wilson's drive to left-center.

Motte, a former catcher who moved to the mound in 2006, had a 1.46 ERA and five saves in spring training after debuting last season with an 0.82 ERA in 11 games with the Cardinals.

His fastball has been timed in the high 90s but when Motte got behind in the count, it wasn't nearly as effective. He refused to blame the weather or nerves from playing in front of a sellout crowd of 45,832.

"It's just one of those things," Motte said. "You go out there and have a bad outing, you can come back out there tomorrow and be the hero. You've just got to put it all behind you."

St. Louis didn't warm up anyone until after Wilson's hit.

Wilson had been 0-for-4 with two strikeouts and a popup. He batted .170 in spring training with a homer and three RBI in 21 games.

"He's got a new approach up there, and I don't think he felt that comfortable in spring training," manager John Russell said. "Hopefully, this will help him to relax."

Matt Capps pitched the ninth for the save, sealing the third straight opening day win for the Pirates, who have finished last in the NL Central in three of the last four seasons. Nyjer Morgan had three hits and two RBI as the Pirates overcame three errors.

Albert Pujols was 3-for-4 with an intentional walk for the Cardinals. He is batting .419 hitter (13-for-31) with two homers, four doubles and 10 RBI in nine openers.

Adam Wainwright made his first official opening day start, a year after he pitched in an opener that was wiped out by rain after three innings. He allowed two runs and four hits in 5 1/3 innings, and he combined to strike out (seven) or walk (five) nearly half his 25 batters. While the strikeouts were one shy of his career best, he matched his high for walks, set in his final start last season. He even walked Pirates starter Paul Maholm on four pitches.

After Pittsburgh stranded five runners in the first two innings, St. Louis went ahead in the third on run-scoring singles by Khalil Greene and Ludwick following the first of LaRoche's two errors at third.

Wainwright walked his last two hitters, and Morgan hit a two-run single off Trever Miller. Maholm, a career .139 hitter coming in, walked against Josh Kinney in the sixth.

"It's not what I wanted, that's for sure," Wainwright said. "I wanted to carry my team deeper into the game, and I didn't."

Maholm had a team-high nine wins last year, the lowest total for a Pirates staff leader since 1981, and moved one slot ahead of '08 opening day starter Ian Snell and two slots ahead of Zach Duke ('07) in the rotation.

Notes

  • Cardinals Hall of Famers Stan Musial, 88, and Red Schoendienst, 86, tag-teamed the first pitch. Musial rode a cart to the mound and flipped the ball to Schoendienst, who walked halfway to the plate and made an underhand throw.
  • There was a moment of silence before the game for longtime instructors George Kissell and Dave Ricketts, and former scouting director Fred McAlister, all of whom died in the past year.
  • The Pirates opened on the road for the fourth straight season.
  • Greene entered with 15 career at-bats as the cleanup hitter, all in 2007 with the Padres. He batted .408 with 17 RBI in spring training.
 
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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Jack Wilson, who hit .170 this spring, hits a go-ahead bases-clearing double in the ninth.  (AP)
Jack Wilson, who hit .170 this spring, hits a go-ahead bases-clearing double in the ninth. (AP)

Players of the Game
Pittsburgh

J. Wilson
AB 5
R 0
H 1
HR 0
RBI 3
St. Louis

R. Ludwick
AB 5
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 2
 

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Pittsburgh Pirates
Nyjer Morgan, LF5032012 .600
Freddy Sanchez, 2B5120015 .400
Nate McLouth, CF3000221 .000
Ryan Doumit, C5000015 .000
Adam LaRoche, 1B5121021 .400
Andy LaRoche, 3B3100114 .000
    Tyler Yates, P0000000 .000
    John Grabow, P0000000 .000
   a- Eric Hinske, PH11100001.000
    Matt Capps, P0000000 .000
Brandon Moss, RF3200110 .000
Jack Wilson, SS5013022 .200
Paul Maholm, P10102001.000
    Ramon Vazquez, 3B2010001 .500
Totals386116611  
a-doubled for Grabow in the 9th
Batting
2B - Freddy Sanchez (1, Motte), Eric Hinske (1, Motte), Jack Wilson (1, Motte)
RBI - Nyjer Morgan 2 (2), Adam LaRoche (1), Jack Wilson 3 (3)
2-OUT RBI - Nyjer Morgan 2 (2), Adam LaRoche (1), Jack Wilson 3 (3)
SB - Nyjer Morgan (1, 2nd base off Wainwright/Molina)
Team LOB - 12
Fielding
DP - LaRoche-LaRoche
E - John Grabow (1, Throwing), Andy LaRoche 2 (2, Misplayed grounder)
Pittsburgh Pirates
Paul Maholm 6.2721110 1.35
Tyler Yates 0.2122101 27.00
John Grabow (W,1-0) 0.2100000 0.00
Matt Capps (S,1) 1100010 0.00
IBB - Pujols by Paul Maholm
HBP - Ankiel (by Paul Maholm)
WP - Paul Maholm (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Paul Maholm 89-49, Tyler Yates 15-9, John Grabow 11-9, Matt Capps 15-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Paul Maholm 11-9, Matt Capps 1-1
Batters Faced - Paul Maholm 30, Tyler Yates 4, John Grabow 3, Matt Capps 4
St. Louis Cardinals
Brendan Ryan, 2B5110002 .200
Rick Ankiel, CF4000002 .000
Albert Pujols, 1B4030100 .750
Khalil Greene, SS5011004 .200
Ryan Ludwick, RF5122011 .400
Yadier Molina, C4000001 .000
Chris Duncan, LF3010100 .333
    Joe Thurston, PR-3B0100000 .000
Brian Barden, 3B3000012 .000
    Kyle McClellan, P0000000 .000
   a- Skip Schumaker, PH-LF10100001.000
Adam Wainwright, P2110000 .500
    Josh Kinney, P0000000 .000
    Trever Miller, P0000000 .000
    David Freese, 3B1001000 .000
    Jason Motte, P0000000 .000
Totals37410422  
a-singled for McClellan in the 8th
Batting
2B - Albert Pujols (1, Maholm), Chris Duncan (1, Maholm), Adam Wainwright (1, Maholm)
HR - Ryan Ludwick (1, Yates)
SF - David Freese (1)
RBI - Khalil Greene (1), Ryan Ludwick 2 (2), David Freese (1)
SB - Skip Schumaker (1, 3rd base off Grabow/Doumit)
Team LOB - 10
Fielding
PB - Yadier Molina (1)
E - Khalil Greene (1, Misplayed grounder)
St. Louis Cardinals
Adam Wainwright 5.1422570 3.38
Josh Kinney (H,1) 0.1000100 0.00
Trever Miller (BS,1) 1200020 0.00
Kyle McClellan 1.1100010 0.00
Jason Motte (BS,1; L,0-1) 1444010 36.00
HBP - Moss (by Jason Motte)
Pitches-Strikes - Adam Wainwright 94-54, Josh Kinney 12-5, Trever Miller 20-14, Kyle McClellan 14-8, Jason Motte 29-19
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Adam Wainwright 3-6, Trever Miller 1-0, Kyle McClellan 1-2, Jason Motte 1-1
Batters Faced - Adam Wainwright 25, Josh Kinney 2, Trever Miller 5, Kyle McClellan 5, Jason Motte 8
Game Information
Attendance - 45832
Game Time - 3:02
Temperature - 42
Umpires - Home - Joe West, First Base - Ed Rapuano, Second Base - Paul Schrieber, Third Base - Marvin Hudson