St. Louis at Pittsburgh

St. Louis
W: E. Jackson (12-9) L: C. Morton (9-10)
S: J. Motte (7)
HR: STL - None   PIT - None

Cards win, send Bucs to 19th straight losing season wire reports

PITTSBURGH -- Yadier Molina normally would have been given off a day game following a night game.

But with the Cardinals trying to gain in the NL Central and wild card, Molina was back behind the plate Wednesday and his tiebreaking, two-run double led St. Louis over the Pittsburgh Pirates 3-2.

"I feel good, man. I feel healthy," Molina said. "When you're in the pennant race, you don't feel tired."

St. Louis, which has 13 games left, has won seven of eight and remained 4½ games behind Atlanta in the NL wild-card race. The Cardinals began the day 6½ games back of Milwaukee in the NL Central.

A three-time Gold Glove winner, Molina is having the best offensive season of his eight-year career: .295 with 12 home runs and 60 RBI. The homers are a career high and he is two RBI from matching his best.

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"It's about winning right now," Molina said. "I don't care about numbers. We're winning and that's the important thing."

St. Louis manager Tony La Russa made it a point to give Molina regular rest this season after he played in 140 games in 2009 and 136 last year.

Edwin Jackson (5-2) allowed two runs and eight hits in 7 1/3 innings.

"Anytime you can get a quality start and the team wins, it's a good day," Jackson said. "It's a game we really needed. We can't afford to lose a series."

He improved to 4-0 in his career against Pittsburgh.

"He doesn't get bothered when guys get on base," La Russa said. "He just comes back and makes tough pitches."

Three relievers combined to hold Pittsburgh scoreless over the final 2 1/3 innings. Jason Motte pitched a perfect ninth for his seventh save in 10 chances.

The Pirates clinched their 19th consecutive losing season, extending a record for a major league franchise in North America.

A year after going a big league-worst 57-105, the Pirates were 51-44 and led the NL Central by a half-game before play on July 20. But they have gone 16-38 since, and at 67-82 are ensured of another sub.-500 record.

La Russa thinks Pittsburgh is getting better.

"They compete," he said. "Clint and his coaching staff have done a really good job of getting their players to play hard for nine innings. They've played us tough and everybody else, too."

With the score 1-1 in the fourth, Molina doubled, a drive off the out-of-town scoreboard in right field off Charlie Morton (9-10).

"I was just looking to drive in a run in that situation," Molina said. "He likes to pitch me on the outside part of the plate and I got a pitch up and away that I could drive."

Derrek Lee, who had three hits, pulled the Pirates within a run when he hit an RBI double in the sixth.

Rafael Furcal hit a double on the game's first pitch and scored on Allen Craig's two-out double.

Pittsburgh tied it in the third when Michael McKenry led off with a double and Alex Presley drove him home with one out with the first of his two doubles.


  • Cardinals LF Matt Holliday missed the game as he returned to St. Louis to be examined after spraining his right hand Tuesday night while taking practice swings in the on deck circle in the ninth inning. Furcal, the Cardinals' shortstop, left in the fifth inning with a strained right knee sustained when he was thrown out trying to steal second base. The Cardinals were still awaiting news on Holliday after the game while Furcal said he should not miss any games.
  • Cardinals INF Daniel Descalso started at third base in place of David Freese for a second straight game but La Russa said the slumping Freese will return to the lineup Friday night for the start of a four-game series at Philadelphia. La Russa played Descalso on Wednesday because left-handed batters were hitting .370 against Morton coming in.
  • St. Louis is off Thursday before facing the NL East-leading Phillies.
  • LHP Jaime Garcia (12-7, 3.68) will start the series opener for the Cardinals against RHP Vance Worley (11-2, 2.92). Garcia is 6-1 with a 1.88 ERA in 13 career starts against NL East teams.
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.
The Cards get the win while Pittsburgh becomes the first professional club in North America with 19 losing seasons in a row.  (Getty Images)
The Cards get the win while Pittsburgh becomes the first professional club in North America with 19 losing seasons in a row. (Getty Images)

Players of the Game
St. Louis

Y. Molina
AB 4
R 0
H 2
HR 0

A. Presley
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 0

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St. Louis Cardinals
Rafael Furcal, SS2110100 .223
    Nick Punto, SS2000012 .263
Jon Jay, CF3010010 .311
Albert Pujols, 1B3000102 .296
Lance Berkman, RF3110122 .290
    Adron Chambers, LF0000000 .000
Allen Craig, LF-RF3111021 .319
    Jason Motte, P0000000 .000
Skip Schumaker, 2B3000014 .292
   a- Ryan Theriot, PH-2B1000000 .270
Yadier Molina, C4022001 .295
Daniel Descalso, 3B3000011 .268
Edwin Jackson, P3010001 .259
    Marc Rzepczynski, P0000000 .000
    Octavio Dotel, P0000000 .000
   b- Corey Patterson, PH-RF1000001 .240
a-flied out for Schumaker in the 8th
b-grounded out for Dotel in the 9th
2B - Rafael Furcal (11, Morton), Allen Craig (12, Morton), Yadier Molina (28, Morton)
3B - Lance Berkman (2, Morton)
SH - Jon Jay (8), Daniel Descalso (10)
RBI - Allen Craig (29), Yadier Molina 2 (60)
2-OUT RBI - Allen Craig (12)
CS - Rafael Furcal (5, 2nd base by Morton/McKenry)
Team LOB - 7
DP - Jackson-Furcal-Pujols, Furcal-Schumaker-Pujols
St. Louis Cardinals
Edwin Jackson (W,12-9) 6.2822050 3.71
Marc Rzepczynski (H,16) 1000030 2.88
Octavio Dotel (H,8) 0.1000000 3.38
Jason Motte (S,7) 1000020 1.56
Pitches-Strikes - Edwin Jackson 100-67, Marc Rzepczynski 14-10, Octavio Dotel 5-3, Jason Motte 14-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Edwin Jackson 9-4, Jason Motte 1-0
Batters Faced - Edwin Jackson 26, Marc Rzepczynski 3, Octavio Dotel 1, Jason Motte 3
Pittsburgh Pirates
Alex Presley, LF4121010 .313
Neil Walker, 2B4000012 .271
Andrew McCutchen, CF4000012 .263
Derrek Lee, 1B4031010 .265
Ryan Ludwick, RF4010022 .239
Pedro Alvarez, 3B3010000 .195
    Chase D'Arnaud, PR-3B0000000 .200
   a- Jason Jaramillo, PH1000000 .381
Ronny Cedeno, SS2000001 .256
Michael McKenry, C2110000 .230
   b- Ryan Doumit, PH-C1000011 .299
Charlie Morton, P2000021 .043
   c- Garrett Jones, PH0000000 .247
   d- Josh Harrison, PH1000011 .263
    Tony Watson, P0000000 .000
    Jared Hughes, P0000000 .000
a-grounded out for D'Arnaud in the 9th
b-struck out for McKenry in the 7th
c-announced for Morton in the 7th
d-struck out for G. Jones in the 7th
2B - Alex Presley 2 (9, Jackson, Jackson), Derrek Lee (16, Jackson), Ryan Ludwick (22, Jackson), Michael McKenry (12, Jackson)
SH - Ronny Cedeno (6)
RBI - Alex Presley (15), Derrek Lee (55)
2-OUT RBI - Derrek Lee (24)
SB - Chase D'Arnaud (10, 3rd base off Jackson/Molina)
Team LOB - 4
Pittsburgh Pirates
Charlie Morton (L,9-10) 7633360 3.81
Tony Watson 1000020 4.25
Jared Hughes 1100000 0.00
HBP - Craig (by Charlie Morton)
Pitches-Strikes - Charlie Morton 94-59, Tony Watson 7-7, Jared Hughes 11-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Charlie Morton 10-4, Jared Hughes 2-1
Batters Faced - Charlie Morton 30, Tony Watson 3, Jared Hughes 4
Game Information
Attendance - 12520
Game Time - 2:36
Temperature - 74
Umpires - Home - Joe West, First Base - Paul Schrieber, Second Base - Sam Holbrook, Third Base - Chad Fairchild