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St. Louis at Pittsburgh

Scoreboard
St. Louis (62-51) «0001001507111
Pittsburgh (45-66)0210000003112

Schumaker's pinch-hit homer sparks Cards sweep in Pittsburgh

CBSSports.com wire reports
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PITTSBURGH -- Tony La Russa said he did. Matt Capps and Albert Pujols said he didn't. Even if the pitch that hit Pujols didn't get away from Capps, the first-place St. Louis Cardinals took yet another game away from the last-place Pittsburgh Pirates.

Skip Schumaker's first career pinch-hit home run started a five-run, eighth-inning rally for St. Louis that included Capps' ejection for hitting Pujols, and the Cardinals completed a three-game sweep by winning 7-3 Sunday.

The Pirates lost a 3-2 lead in the eighth while dropping their eighth in a row, all at home. They are two losses away from their longest home losing streak since PNC Park opened in 2001, a 10-game run in 2005.

Capps (2-7), who normally doesn't pitch until the ninth, replaced Zach Duke with one on and one out in the eighth to try to close it out. After fouling off a pitch, Schumaker hit a drive into the right-field seats for his fourth homer and a 4-3 lead as many in the crowd of 24,364 booed the latest Pirates bullpen failure.

"I don't hit too many anyway, so whenever I hit them I'm pretty happy," Schumaker said. "I didn't know I was going to pinch hit, but you never know what Tony [La Russa] is going to do and it worked out this time."

Capps threw a strike to Pujols before hitting the major league RBI leader with a pitch in the ribs. Pujols glared toward Capps but didn't make a move toward the mound, and home plate umpire Mike Estabrook immediately ejected Capps although no other batter in the game had been hit. Pirates manager John Russell argued briefly.

"I think he [Estabrook] read it exactly right, I think it was an intentional hit and there's no doubt in my mind it came from the bench, and I really believe it didn't come from the manager," La Russa said. "Don't ask me to expound on that. It was intentional, it came from the bench and it wasn't the manager who ordered it."

La Russa apparently thought it was ordered by pitching coach Joe Kerrigan, but he wasn't available for comment. However, Pujols didn't agree with his manager.

"I didn't think he did it on purpose, but it happened after the home run," Pujols said.

Capps said there was no reason to throw at Pujols in a one-run game, especially ahead in the count.

"Albert Pujols, he's the classiest guy in baseball, he's not a guy you're going to intentionally hit, especially in that situation." Capps said. "We were playing a good game. I understand I just gave up the homer, but I had him 0-1. I tried to go in and got too strong and it got away from me. I wasn't happy he threw me out."

The incident triggered the big inning by St. Louis, which swept the Pirates for the first time since Sept. 28-30, 2007. Ryan Ludwick followed Matt Holliday's single with a two-run double off Jesse Chavez and Khalil Greene had a run-scoring single.

Joel Pineiro (10-9) fell behind 3-0 as Steve Pearce hit a two-run homer, but stayed in to pitch seven innings and improve to 4-0 in his last seven starts.

Holliday hit a sacrifice fly, added two singles and scored twice as the Cardinals won their ninth in 12 games to move to a season-high 11 games above .500 at 62-51.

The Pirates wasted an effective start by Duke, who gave up three runs -- two earned -- over 7 1/3 innings while lowering his ERA to 3.40. Pineiro yielded nine hits over seven innings, but struck out six and walked none.

As usual, Duke didn't get much help from a bullpen that gave up 30 runs in 30 2/3 innings as the Pirates went 3-7 during a homestand against the Nationals, Diamondbacks and Cardinals. They were outscored 33-6 from the seventh inning on.

"It's not one guy, it seems it's hit everybody down there, even our closer," Russell said.

Notes

  • Mark DeRosa (upper back tightness) was a last-minute scratch for St. Louis, creating a brief moment of confusion when the announced lineup was altered. The first two batters of the game were not announced to the crowd.
  • Pittsburgh has lost 13 of 15.
  • Pearce hit his second homer, but also threw wildly on a pickoff play to lead to a St. Louis run in the seventh. Duke's own errant throw led to Holliday's sacrifice fly in the fourth.
  • Pujols, his midsection wrapped, was asked how much the Capps pitch hurt. Pujols said, "I took a fastball in the rib cage at 95 [mph], that will tell you."
 
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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Skip Schumaker (55) receives props for his first career pinch-hit homer, which sparks a five-run inning.  (AP)
Skip Schumaker (55) receives props for his first career pinch-hit homer, which sparks a five-run inning. (AP)

Players of the Game
Pittsburgh

S. Pearce
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 2
St. Louis

S. Schumaker
AB 2
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 2
 
St. Louis Cardinals
Brendan Ryan, SS5110021 .275
Julio Lugo, 2B3110001 .305
   a- Skip Schumaker, PH-2B2112000 .294
Albert Pujols, 1B2110100 .326
Matt Holliday, LF3221001 .312
Ryan Ludwick, RF4112002 .268
Yadier Molina, C4021001 .285
Khalil Greene, 3B4011001 .203
    Jason Motte, P0000000 .000
    Trever Miller, P0000000 .000
    Kyle McClellan, P0000000 .000
Colby Rasmus, CF4000002 .248
Joel Pineiro, P2000010 .174
   b- Mark DeRosa, PH1010000 .258
    Joe Thurston, 3B1000000 .230
Totals35711713  
a-homered for Lugo in the 8th
b-singled for Pineiro in the 8th
Batting
2B - Albert Pujols (29, Duke), Ryan Ludwick (13, J. Chavez)
HR - Skip Schumaker (4, Capps)
SF - Matt Holliday (4)
RBI - Skip Schumaker 2 (28), Matt Holliday (69), Ryan Ludwick 2 (71), Yadier Molina (37), Khalil Greene (21)
2-OUT RBI - Khalil Greene (11)
CS - Matt Holliday (5, 2nd base by Duke/Jaramillo)
PK - Yadier Molina (2, Duke)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
DP - Lugo-Ryan-Pujols, Greene-Pujols, Pujols-Ryan
E - Joe Thurston (11, Misplayed grounder)
St. Louis Cardinals
Joel Pineiro (W,10-9) 7933061 3.22
Jason Motte0100000 5.67
Trever Miller 0.1100010 2.12
Kyle McClellan (S,2) 1.2000000 3.00
Pitches-Strikes - Joel Pineiro 99-71, Jason Motte 2-2, Trever Miller 11-7, Kyle McClellan 15-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Joel Pineiro 11-2, Kyle McClellan 3-2
Batters Faced - Joel Pineiro 28, Jason Motte 1, Trever Miller 2, Kyle McClellan 5
Pittsburgh Pirates
Andrew McCutchen, CF4110001 .292
Lastings Milledge, LF4020010 .246
Delwyn Young, 2B4021010 .301
Garrett Jones, RF4110034 .291
Steve Pearce, 1B4112013 .230
Ronny Cedeno, SS4010012 .191
Ramon Vazquez, 3B4020001 .254
Jason Jaramillo, C4010001 .250
Zach Duke, P3000003 .186
    Matt Capps, P0000000 .000
    Jesse Chavez, P0000000 .000
    Evan Meek, P0000000 .000
   a- Brandon Moss, PH1000000 .244
Totals36311307  
a-grounded out for Meek in the 9th
Batting
2B - Andrew McCutchen (16, Pineiro), Garrett Jones (9, Pineiro), Ramon Vazquez (4, Pineiro)
HR - Steve Pearce (2, Pineiro)
RBI - Delwyn Young (30), Steve Pearce 2 (6)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Young-Cedeno-Pearce
E - Zach Duke (2, Throwing), Steve Pearce (2, Throwing)
Pittsburgh Pirates
Zach Duke 7.1732120 3.40
Matt Capps (BS,3; L,2-7)0122001 5.97
Jesse Chavez 0.2322000 3.99
Evan Meek 1000010 3.47
HBP - Pujols (by Matt Capps)
WP - Jesse Chavez (4)
Pitches-Strikes - Zach Duke 97-66, Matt Capps 4-3, Jesse Chavez 14-10, Evan Meek 10-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Zach Duke 10-8, Jesse Chavez 1-1, Evan Meek 2-0
Batters Faced - Zach Duke 28, Matt Capps 2, Jesse Chavez 5, Evan Meek 3
Game Information
Attendance - 24369
Game Time - 2:43
Temperature - 86
Umpires - Home - Mike Estabrook, First Base - Andy Fletcher, Second Base - Greg Gibson, Third Base - Tim McClelland