Pittsburgh at St. Louis

St. Louis
W: E. Jackson (10-9) L: C. Morton (9-7)
HR: PIT - None   STL - M. Holliday (19)

Cardinals 8, Pirates 4

CBSSports.com wire reports

ST. LOUIS -- David Freese found the perfect way to overcome a rough start.

Freese had a go-ahead, two-run single in the fifth inning and Matt Holliday added a three-run homer, leading the St. Louis Cardinals to an 8-4 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Thursday night.

The Cardinals ended a three-game losing streak and moved within 9½ games of first-place Milwaukee in the NL Central. Pittsburgh lost for the sixth time in nine games.

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Freese blooped a bases-loaded hit down the right-field line with one out to put St. Louis in front to stay, 5-4. It was a bit of redemption for Freese, who committed a costly error in the third that led to three unearned runs. Then, in the bottom half, he grounded into an inning-ending double play that killed a potential rally.

"You play this game for six months and sometimes things are going to get tough on you," Freese said. "You play this game long enough, you don't sweat when things aren't going well."

Freese more than made up for the early mistakes later in the game.

"I'm a guy that definitely wants to perform," he said.

Allen Craig began the fifth inning with a single. Pittsburgh starter Charlie Morton (9-7) then walked Albert Pujols and Lance Berkman to set the stage for Freese's key hit.

"He makes an error, he feels [bad]. Hits into a double play, he feels worse," St. Louis manager Tony La Russa said. "Next time up there he clears his mind and puts a good swing on the ball. You've got to be a tough competitor to not dwell on the negative. That's why he's going to be a real good player for a long time here."

Holliday hit a three-run homer in the eighth off reliever Tony Watson. It was Holliday's 19th home run of the season. The veteran outfielder was not surprised that Freese was able to bounce back.

"I don't worry about him," Holliday said. "He's a good hitter. I'm never surprised when he gets a big hit."

St. Louis starter Edwin Jackson (10-9) allowed one earned run over six innings in his sixth start for the Cardinals. Jackson, acquired in a trade from Toronto on July 27, reached 10 wins for the fourth straight season.

Jackson improved to 3-2 with St. Louis. He has allowed three earned runs or fewer in five of his six starts as a member of the Cardinals.

"At the end of the night we got a win, and that's the mission," said Jackson, who was not pleased with his performance. "It was fortunate that I was able to come out with a little less damage."

St. Louis relievers Marc Rzepczynski, Jason Motte and Fernando Salas combined for three scoreless innings. Motte struck out Ronny Cedeno and got Ryan Doumit to fly out with a runner on third to end the eighth.

"He's the best guy we have coming into an inning with trouble," La Russa said.

The Pirates took a 4-3 lead in the fourth on back-to-back doubles by Cedeno and Michael McKenry.

St. Louis jumped to a 3-0 lead with two runs in the first and one in the second. Pujols and Berkman had RBI singles in the first. Skip Schumaker drove in Rafael Furcal with a two-out single in the second.

Pittsburgh scored three unearned runs in the third to tie the game. Garrett Jones' two-run single was the big blow. An error by Freese at third opened the gates for the two-out rally.

Morton gave up nine hits and five earned runs in 4 1/3 innings. He was 1-0 with a 0.95 ERA in his previous four starts.

"We didn't see what we normally see from Charlie," Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle said. "Balls were hit in the air for a high percentage of the night, which is not normal for him."

Morton said he felt good before the game.

"I think some of those were pretty good pitches," he said.


Jake Westbrook (10-7, 4.70 ERA) will face Pittsburgh right-hander James McDonald (8-6, 4.21) in the second game of the four-game series Friday. McDonald has won eight of his last 12 decisions. ... Pittsburgh RF Jose Tabata had a 10-game hitting streak snapped. ... On July 24, Pittsburgh, St. Louis and Milwaukee were tied for first in the NL Central. ... The Pirates play nine of their next 10 games on the road. ... Pittsburgh must go 21-11 the rest of the way to finish .500 or better for the first time in 19 years. ... Furcal batted eighth for the first time this season. ... Cardinals INF Ryan Theriot, mired in an 0-for-10 slump, had a sacrifice bunt in the eighth.

Copyright 2017 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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Players of the Game
St. Louis

M. Holliday
AB 5
R 1
H 1
HR 1

G. Jones
AB 3
R 0
H 2
HR 0

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April 21, 2017
Stock Down: Pittsburgh Pirates (0:55)
Pittsburgh Pirates
Jose Tabata, RF4000012 .278
Alex Presley, LF5111001 .326
Andrew McCutchen, CF3100110 .268
Neil Walker, 2B3000100 .278
Garrett Jones, 1B3022100 .248
    Xavier Paul, PR0000000 .264
    Brandon Wood, 1B0000000 .216
Josh Harrison, 3B3010003 .269
    Chris Leroux, P0000000 .000
   a- Matt Diaz, PH1000001 .260
    Tony Watson, P0000000 .000
Ronny Cedeno, SS4110012 .256
Michael McKenry, C3121000 .242
   b- Ryan Doumit, PH-C1000001 .280
Charlie Morton, P0000000 .048
    Chase D'Arnaud, 3B2000011 .221
a-grounded out for Leroux in the 8th
b-flied out for McKenry in the 8th
2B - Josh Harrison (7, Jackson), Ronny Cedeno (23, Jackson), Michael McKenry (10, Jackson)
SH - Charlie Morton 2 (8)
RBI - Alex Presley (10), Garrett Jones 2 (53), Michael McKenry (10)
2-OUT RBI - Alex Presley (4), Garrett Jones 2 (17)
SB - Xavier Paul (15, 2nd base off Motte/Molina), Chase D'Arnaud (8, 2nd base off Jackson/Molina)
Team LOB - 7
DP - Cedeno-Walker-G. Jones
E - Garrett Jones (3, Misplayed grounder)
Pittsburgh Pirates
Charlie Morton (L,9-7) 4.1955210 3.63
Chris Leroux 2.2100130 0.84
Tony Watson 1233121 4.60
IBB - Pujols by Chris Leroux, Pujols by Tony Watson
WP - Chris Leroux 2 (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Charlie Morton 84-50, Chris Leroux 39-23, Tony Watson 20-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Charlie Morton 9-3, Chris Leroux 1-5, Tony Watson 1-0
Batters Faced - Charlie Morton 24, Chris Leroux 11, Tony Watson 6
St. Louis Cardinals
Skip Schumaker, 2B4011012 .301
   a- Ryan Theriot, PH-2B0000000 .272
Allen Craig, CF4220012 .326
    Marc Rzepczynski, P0000000 .000
    Jason Motte, P0000000 .000
   b- Gerald Laird, PH1000011 .244
    Corey Patterson, RF0000000 .245
Albert Pujols, 1B2311300 .290
Matt Holliday, LF5113004 .307
Lance Berkman, RF4021120 .292
    Fernando Salas, P0000000 .000
David Freese, 3B4012003 .306
    Daniel Descalso, 3B0000000 .257
Yadier Molina, C4000013 .289
Rafael Furcal, SS4110003 .204
Edwin Jackson, P1010000 .250
   c- Jon Jay, PH-CF2120000 .300
a-hit a sacrifice bunt for Schumaker in the 8th
b-struck out for Motte in the 8th
c-singled for Jackson in the 6th
2B - Allen Craig (11, Morton), Albert Pujols (22, Morton), Jon Jay (18, Watson)
HR - Matt Holliday (19, Watson)
SH - Ryan Theriot (4), Edwin Jackson (2)
RBI - Skip Schumaker (31), Albert Pujols (78), Matt Holliday 3 (67), Lance Berkman (79), David Freese 2 (42)
2-OUT RBI - Skip Schumaker (14), Matt Holliday 3 (23), Lance Berkman (27)
SB - Allen Craig (5, 2nd base off Morton/McKenry)
Team LOB - 9
DP - Pujols
E - David Freese (8, Misplayed grounder)
St. Louis Cardinals
Edwin Jackson (W,10-9) 6641320 3.94
Marc Rzepczynski (H,12) 1100000 2.55
Jason Motte (H,16) 1000010 1.73
Fernando Salas 1000010 2.37
HBP - Tabata (by Edwin Jackson)
Pitches-Strikes - Edwin Jackson 106-65, Marc Rzepczynski 12-9, Jason Motte 17-11, Fernando Salas 13-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Edwin Jackson 10-6, Marc Rzepczynski 2-1, Jason Motte 1-1, Fernando Salas 1-1
Batters Faced - Edwin Jackson 28, Marc Rzepczynski 4, Jason Motte 3, Fernando Salas 3
Game Information
Attendance - 36503
Game Time - 3:11
Temperature - 86
Umpires - Home - Jim Reynolds, First Base - Mike DiMuro, Second Base - Tim Welke, Third Base - Andy Fletcher