Pittsburgh at St. Louis

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Pittsburgh (55-101)0101200004121
St. Louis (81-75) «00200211x6121

Holliday helps Cardinals avoid elimination, beat Pirates

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ST. LOUIS -- St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Matt Holliday is not ready to give up just yet.

Holliday hit a two-run homer and drove in three runs and the Cardinals beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 6-4 on Monday night, staying in the NL Central race for at least one more day.

A Cardinals loss would have clinched the division for Cincinnati. The Reds were idle, and their magic number remained at one going into Tuesday night's home game against Houston.

Postseason Chase

Holliday is aware that the Cardinals must be perfect the rest of the way. And the Reds must lose their remaining six games -- just to force a one-game playoff for the NL Central title. Still, he is not giving up despite the astronomical odds stacked against his club.

"Anything is possible," he said. "We've just got to keep playing."

St. Louis manager Tony La Russa says it is important for his team to continue to work hard.

"What's meaningful is looking in the mirror and seeing that we took our best shot," he said.

Holliday delivered the key hit on Monday, a two-run shot in the sixth inning that tied the game at 4. His 28th home run of the season came off starter Charlie Morton, who allowed 10 hits and four runs in six innings.

"It was a stupid pitch," Morton said. "I wanted it a little more inside. I wanted him to pull it foul."

St. Louis scored the go-ahead run in the seventh on a two-out throwing error by shortstop Ronny Cedeno. Rookie catcher Matt Pagnozzi, who had a career-high three hits, came in when Cedeno threw wildly to first on a grounder by Allen Craig.

"He makes that play more times than not," Pittsburgh manager John Russell said. "It's unfortunate. It's tough to give up runs like that."

St. Louis slugger Albert Pujols had two hits and got his NL-leading 117th RBI with a single in the third.

Pagnozzi, the nephew of former St. Louis catcher Tom Pagnozzi, became the fifth St. Louis rookie to have three hits in a game this season following Craig, Jon Jay, David Freese and Daniel Descalso.

Pagnozzi posted his second successive multi-hit game and pushed his average from .188 to .333 in the past 48 hours.

"Offense has been a work in progress for me throughout my career," he said. "The more I play, the more things I learn."

Pedro Alvarez went 3 for 3 with a home run and two RBI for the Pirates. He connected in the second and extended his hitting streak to seven games, during which he's 13 for 27 with 15 RBI.

Dennys Reyes (3-1) picked up the victory with one scoreless inning in relief of starter Kyle Lohse, who allowed 10 hits and four runs in six innings. Kyle McClellan got his second save in three chances with a scoreless ninth.

Sean Gallagher (2-1) took the loss in relief.

Notes

  • Former St. Louis Rams WR Isaac Bruce threw out the first pitch on Monday.
  • Morton got his first hit of the season, a single up the middle in the sixth inning. He was 0 for 23.
  • Holliday leads the NL with 50 two-out RBI.
  • The Cardinals are 46-49 against teams under .500.
  • The Pirates fell to 15-60 on the road.
  • Pujols has led the team in hitting each of his first nine seasons in the league.
 
Copyright 2015 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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Matt Holliday is congratulated at the plate after his sixth-inning home run ties the game at 4.  (AP)
Matt Holliday is congratulated at the plate after his sixth-inning home run ties the game at 4. (AP)

Players of the Game
St. Louis

M. Holliday
AB 3
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 3
Pittsburgh

P. Alvarez
AB 3
R 2
H 3
HR 1
RBI 2
 

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Pittsburgh Pirates
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Andrew McCutchen, CF4120101 .285
Jose Tabata, LF5120012 .304
Neil Walker, 2B3011202 .301
Garrett Jones, 1B4010102 .248
Pedro Alvarez, 3B3232100 .249
John Bowker, RF3000013 .204
   a- Andy LaRoche, PH1000001 .209
    Sean Gallagher, P0000000 .000
    Chan Ho Park, P0000000 .000
Ronny Cedeno, SS4021010 .251
Chris Snyder, C3000001 .212
   b- Ryan Doumit, PH-C1000001 .256
Charlie Morton, P3010000 .042
    Alexander Presley, RF1000000 .333
Totals35412453  
a-grounded into a double play for Bowker in the 7th
b-grounded into a double play for Snyder in the 8th
Batting
2B - Andrew McCutchen (33, Lohse), Garrett Jones (32, Reyes), Pedro Alvarez (21, Lohse)
HR - Pedro Alvarez (14, Lohse)
RBI - Neil Walker (63), Pedro Alvarez 2 (58), Ronny Cedeno (35)
2-OUT RBI - Pedro Alvarez (22), Ronny Cedeno (18)
SB - Andrew McCutchen (33, 2nd base off McClellan/Pagnozzi)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Jose Tabata 1
DP - Cedeno-Walker-G. Jones, Cedeno-G. Jones
E - Ronny Cedeno (15, Throwing)
Pittsburgh Pirates
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Charlie Morton 61044041 7.94
Sean Gallagher (L,2-1) 1110220 5.82
Chan Ho Park 1111100 4.98
IBB - Pujols by Sean Gallagher
WP - Chan Ho Park (7)
Pitches-Strikes - Charlie Morton 83-52, Sean Gallagher 30-15, Chan Ho Park 16-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Charlie Morton 8-3, Sean Gallagher 2-0, Chan Ho Park 3-0
Batters Faced - Charlie Morton 25, Sean Gallagher 7, Chan Ho Park 5
St. Louis Cardinals
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Skip Schumaker, 2B5120013 .265
Allen Craig, RF4120001 .240
    Jason Motte, P0000000 .000
    Kyle McClellan, P0000000 .500
Albert Pujols, 1B3121102 .313
Matt Holliday, LF3123101 .313
Colby Rasmus, CF4010023 .279
Daniel Descalso, 3B3000110 .333
    Pedro Feliz, 3B0000000 .219
Brendan Ryan, SS4100001 .222
Matt Pagnozzi, C4130010 .333
Kyle Lohse, P1000010 .182
    Dennys Reyes, P0000000 .000
   a- Jon Jay, PH-RF1000001 .300
Totals32612436  
a-hit a sacrifice bunt for Reyes in the 7th
Batting
HR - Matt Holliday (28, Morton)
SH - Kyle Lohse (2), Jon Jay (8)
RBI - Albert Pujols (117), Matt Holliday 3 (103)
2-OUT RBI - Albert Pujols (42), Matt Holliday (50)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Allen Craig 1
DP - Pujols-Ryan-Lohse, Descalso-Schumaker-Pujols, Pujols-Ryan
E - Matt Holliday (3, Misplayed grounder)
St. Louis Cardinals
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Kyle Lohse 61044221 7.09
Dennys Reyes (W,3-1) 1100200 3.55
Jason Motte (H,12) 1100000 2.28
Kyle McClellan (S,2) 1000110 2.35
IBB - Alvarez by Dennys Reyes
Pitches-Strikes - Kyle Lohse 106-65, Dennys Reyes 18-6, Jason Motte 13-10, Kyle McClellan 15-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kyle Lohse 8-6, Dennys Reyes 1-1, Jason Motte 1-1, Kyle McClellan 1-1
Batters Faced - Kyle Lohse 28, Dennys Reyes 5, Jason Motte 3, Kyle McClellan 4
Game Information
Attendance - 38592
Game Time - 2:43
Temperature - 60
Umpires - Home - Brian O'Nora, First Base - Jerry Crawford, Second Base - Chris Guccione, Third Base - Phil Cuzzi