Pittsburgh at St. Louis

St. Louis
W: P. Walters (2-0) L: J. McDonald (4-6)
HR: PIT - None   STL - A. Craig (4)

Cards top Pirates behind Walters, reserve-laden lineup

CBSSports.com wire reports

ST. LOUIS -- P.J. Walters quickly settled into a smooth rhythm against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Walters gave up an infield single to Andrew McCutchen on the first pitch of the game, then retired the next 14 batters in leading the St. Louis Cardinals to a 4-1 victory Wednesday.

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"I wish I could explain to you what he did today," St. Louis manager Tony La Russa said. "The game he pitched against that lineup, they've been scoring a lot of runs, was a gem. He's got great guts and a real good feel for pitching."

Walters (2-0) pitched three-hit ball for seven shutout innings. He struck out four and walked one.

"I was able to ahead in the count," he said. "They were swinging early. That kept the pitch count down."

Walters worked four innings of relief last Thursday in Pittsburgh, where he allowed five runs and seven hits. But he was much sharper in his fourth career start and saved a stressed-out Cardinals bullpen.

"Some of those guys needed some days off," he said. "That's one thing I've struggled with was getting past the fifth inning. I was glad I was able to do that today."

Neil Walker drove in the Pirates' only run with a sacrifice fly in the ninth. Pittsburgh fell to 16-61 on the road.

"We swung the bat terrible today," Pittsburgh manager John Russell said. "We picked up a little bit late, but it was too late. He made some good pitches, but we didn't do a very good job."

Allen Craig hit a solo home run and Bryan Anderson and Tyler Greene each had two hits and an RBI. Aaron Miles drove in the Cardinals' other run with an RBI single.

Having been eliminated from playoff contention the day before, the Cardinals started a lineup heavy on September call-ups and reserves.

"We were kind of joking about it before the game," said Mark Hamilton, who played in place of Albert Pujols and got his first major-league hit. "I know [hitting coach Mark] McGwire was saying, 'We'll see how the Memphis club does today.' But it was good. It kept it light in the clubhouse today."

Craig connected with two outs in the fourth off James McDonald (4-6). That was the only run that McDonald allowed, as he lasted six innings and allowed five hits with seven strikeouts.

"He gave up the one home run, but he made some really good pitches today," Russell said. "I know he really wanted to finish strong. We had told him we were going to keep a close eye on him. I think he took the challenge and threw the ball really well."

McDonald said that getting ahead of the batters was a key for him.

"I felt like I was aggressive," he said. "Just getting strike one and focusing on one pitch at a time."

The Cardinals got two insurance runs in the eighth off Chan Ho Park when first baseman Garrett Jones' throwing error led to a first-and-third situation with one out. Anderson drove home a run with a single to right and Greene made it 4-0 with a sacrifice fly.


  • McCutchen extended his streak of reaching base safely to 24 games.
  • Before the game, the Cardinals activated pitcher Adam Ottavino from the 60-day DL. Ottavino was the team's No. 1 pick in 2006.
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Rookie P.J. Walters bounces back from a rough relief outing to limit Pittsburgh to three hits in seven innings.  (AP)
Rookie P.J. Walters bounces back from a rough relief outing to limit Pittsburgh to three hits in seven innings. (AP)

Players of the Game
St. Louis

A. Craig
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
St. Louis

P. Walters
IP 7.0
H 3
ER 0
BB 1
K 4

Related Video

Pittsburgh Pirates
Andrew McCutchen, CF3120100 .288
Jose Tabata, LF4010003 .303
Neil Walker, 2B3001010 .298
Garrett Jones, 1B4000011 .250
Pedro Alvarez, 3B4010021 .249
John Bowker, RF3000011 .206
Ronny Cedeno, SS3010000 .252
Chris Snyder, C3000001 .210
James McDonald, P1000000 .048
    Joe Martinez, P0000000 .000
   a- Brandon Moss, PH1000000 .053
    Chan Ho Park, P0000000 .000
a-flied out for Martinez in the 8th
2B - Andrew McCutchen (34, Franklin)
SF - Neil Walker (4)
SH - James McDonald (1)
RBI - Neil Walker (65)
SB - Jose Tabata (19, 2nd base off Franklin/Pagnozzi)
Team LOB - 4
E - Garrett Jones (12, Throwing)
Pittsburgh Pirates
James McDonald (L,4-6) 6511071 4.02
Joe Martinez 1211020 4.08
Chan Ho Park 1220000 4.90
HBP - Jay (by Joe Martinez)
WP - James McDonald (5), Joe Martinez (1)
Pitches-Strikes - James McDonald 80-58, Joe Martinez 28-17, Chan Ho Park 18-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - James McDonald 4-8, Joe Martinez 1-0, Chan Ho Park 2-2
Batters Faced - James McDonald 24, Joe Martinez 6, Chan Ho Park 6
St. Louis Cardinals
Jon Jay, LF3000001 .298
Aaron Miles, 2B4011012 .291
Colby Rasmus, CF4000032 .276
Allen Craig, RF-1B4121000 .243
Mark Hamilton, 1B4020011 .200
    Joe Mather, PR-RF0100000 .204
Daniel Descalso, 3B4100013 .269
    Pedro Feliz, 3B0000000 .219
Bryan Anderson, C4021011 .281
    Ryan Franklin, P0000000 .000
Tyler Greene, SS3121000 .228
P.J. Walters, P2000022 .000
   a- Randy Winn, PH1000001 .243
    Kyle McClellan, P0000000 .500
   b- Nick Stavinoha, PH1000001 .261
    Matt Pagnozzi, C0000000 .333
a-grounded out for Walters in the 7th
b-hit into fielder's choice for McClellan in the 8th
2B - Allen Craig (6, McDonald)
HR - Allen Craig (4, McDonald)
SF - Tyler Greene (1)
RBI - Aaron Miles (9), Allen Craig (17), Bryan Anderson (4), Tyler Greene (10)
2-OUT RBI - Aaron Miles (4), Allen Craig (8)
Team LOB - 8
DP - Descalso-Miles-Hamilton
St. Louis Cardinals
P.J. Walters (W,2-0) 7300140 6.00
Kyle McClellan (H,19) 1000000 2.32
Ryan Franklin 1211010 3.52
Pitches-Strikes - P.J. Walters 80-50, Kyle McClellan 10-6, Ryan Franklin 19-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - P.J. Walters 8-8, Kyle McClellan 1-2, Ryan Franklin 1-1
Batters Faced - P.J. Walters 24, Kyle McClellan 3, Ryan Franklin 5
Game Information
Attendance - 38112
Game Time - 2:15
Temperature - 74
Umpires - Home - Chris Guccione, First Base - Phil Cuzzi, Second Base - Brian O'Nora, Third Base - Jerry Crawford