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Pittsburgh at St. Louis

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Pittsburgh (14-10) «0000004105110
St. Louis (14-9)100001001380

Pirates use four-run seventh to rally past Cards

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ST. LOUIS -- Russell Martin wanted a better fate for his starting pitcher and helped deliver a happier ending.

The Pittsburgh Pirates catcher hit a two-run home run to highlight a four-run seventh inning and the Pirates rallied to beat the St. Louis Cardinals 5-3 on Saturday. The comeback gave A.J. Burnett (2-2) his second victory over St. Louis in 10 days.

"It was great, man. I was really happy about that," said Martin, who went 2-for-4 with a double. "A.J.'s been pitching his butt off all year and he hasn't had too many wins under his belt and he should. It seemed like it was going to go like kind of how it's been but we were able to muster up some wins and find a way to do it for him.

"It's definitely gratifying. It feels great."

Burnett gave up two runs and five hits in six innings. His six strikeouts expanded his team record for the month of April to a league-leading 48. Burnett threw seven shutout innings in a 5-0 win over St. Louis on April 17.

He hasn't allowed more than three earned runs in his six starts this season, giving up three just twice. The Pirates haven't backed him at the plate, however, providing him an average of 2.33 runs.

Burnett used 111 pitches earning an exit earlier than he wanted but he was pleased with his results and the victory.

"It feels good just because the fact that these guys keep going," he said. "Russ started us off with the homer. We're never out of it. We're never down. There's no negative thoughts.

"As a starter, I'm going to try to keep doing that until [manager] Clint [Hurdle] takes me out."

St. Louis starter Jake Westbrook left after six innings with a 2-0 lead in search of his 100th career victory. He struck out a season-high six and scattered six hits to lower his ERA to 0.98 in five starts.

The Pirates had three consecutive hits against reliever Joe Kelly (0-1) to lead off the seventh and were aided by a hit by pitch and a walk to score four runs. Martin's fifth homer of the season drove in Pedro Alvarez to tie the score at 2, Andrew McCutchen walked with the bases loaded and Garrett Jones grounded in Starling Marte.

"They just couldn't get it done today," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said of his bullpen. "Any time you lose a game in the last third, it can be extremely frustrating. When the starter gives you a great chance like that, you hate to see it slip away."

The Pirates added their fifth run on a double by Martin and a sacrifice fly from Gaby Sanchez. Martin has a hit in 10 of his past 11 games.

Pittsburgh had scored just one run in the first 15 innings of the series before their four-run outburst. The beleaguered St. Louis Cardinals bullpen had its ERA balloon to 5.62. The Cardinals have given up 39 runs after the sixth inning this season.

"Honestly, I didn't know they were struggling like that," Martin said. "All of those guys have tremendous arms and they've got good stuff. It's going to even out for them, I'm sure.

"The difference is, when they're struggling, it's just their minds that are struggling. Maybe their focus is just a bit off. When you get a guy whose focus is off he tends to make more mistakes and that's when you have to capitalize."

Jason Grilli surrendered his first run of the season on an RBI double from Carlos Beltran in the ninth but earned his 10th save in 10 tries.

St. Louis jumped to a 2-0 lead with single runs in the first and sixth. Pete Kozma's two-out single up the middle scored Jon Jay. Matt Carpenter and Beltran singled to start the first. Carpenter scored on Matt Holliday's groundout.

Westbrook's performance also lowered the Cardinals starters ERA to a league-best 2.08.

He allowed a runner to reach second base once, though the Pirates went in order just one time.

Westbrook has struggled throughout his career against the Pirates, entering with a 1-7 record and a 5.28 ERA. It could have been worse. He gave up four runs and six hits in two innings April 16 before rained forced the game's postponement.

"I felt like I was throwing the ball pretty well, had a good sinker. I was able to get some early outs and stayed out of trouble for the most part."

Notes

  • Pittsburgh OF Travis Snider was scratched from the starting lineup with discomfort on his left side. He's listed as day to day.
  • Pittsburgh INF Neil Walker took six stitches on his right index finger after Cardinals SS Pete Kozma stepped on him while turning a double play Friday. He's listed day-to-day but is likely out for at least a week.
  • With a single in the third, Pittsburgh OF Jose Tabata has now hit safely in 20 of his 22 career games at Busch Stadium.
  • Jay stole his first base of the year in the fourth. He led the team with 19 in 2012.
  • Westbrook entered the game with eight strikeouts.
  • Cardinals starters have all 14 of the team's victories.
  • Cardinals INF Daniel Descalso went 0-2 with two walks and is hitless in his last 15 at-bats.
  • Cardinals INF Jermaine Curtis made his Major League debut and struck out in the ninth as a pinch hitter for Matt Carpenter who was pulled with a mild oblique strain on his left side.
 
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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A.J. Burnett is the beneficiary of the offensive outburst as he picks up his second win -- both against St. Louis. (AP)
A.J. Burnett is the beneficiary of the offensive outburst as he picks up his second win -- both against St. Louis. (AP)

Players of the Game
Pittsburgh

R. Martin
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 1
RBI 2
St. Louis

J. Westbrook
IP 6.0
H 6
ER 0
BB 0
K 6
 
Pittsburgh Pirates
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Starling Marte, LF4110112 .319
Jose Tabata, RF4010000 .175
Andrew McCutchen, CF4001102 .216
Garrett Jones, 1B4011010 .297
    John McDonald, 2B0000100 .067
Brandon Inge, 2B4010013 .308
    Mark Melancon, P0000000 .000
   a- Wandy Rodriguez, PH1010000 .111
    Jason Grilli, P0000000 .000
Pedro Alvarez, 3B5120013 .195
Russell Martin, C4222002 .243
Clint Barmes, SS3120110 .156
A.J. Burnett, P2000021 .000
   b- James McDonald, PH1000011 .333
    Tony Watson, P0000000 .000
   c- Gaby Sanchez, PH-1B0001000 .278
Totals36511548  
a-singled for Melancon in the 9th
b-struck out for Burnett in the 7th
c-hit a sacrifice fly for Watson in the 8th
Batting
2B - Russell Martin (5, Rzepczynski)
HR - Russell Martin (3, Kelly)
SF - Gaby Sanchez (3)
RBI - Andrew McCutchen (13), Garrett Jones (12), Russell Martin 2 (6), Gaby Sanchez (12)
Team LOB - 10
Fielding
DP - Barmes-Inge-G. Jones
Pittsburgh Pirates
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
A.J. Burnett (W,2-2) 6522360 2.83
Tony Watson (H,6) 1000120 2.77
Mark Melancon (H,9) 1100010 0.64
Jason Grilli (S,10) 1211010 0.82
IBB - Descalso by A.J. Burnett
HBP - Jay (by A.J. Burnett)
Pitches-Strikes - A.J. Burnett 111-67, Tony Watson 24-15, Mark Melancon 21-15, Jason Grilli 24-17
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - A.J. Burnett 5-6, Mark Melancon 2-0, Jason Grilli 1-1
Batters Faced - A.J. Burnett 26, Tony Watson 4, Mark Melancon 4, Jason Grilli 5
St. Louis Cardinals
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Matt Carpenter, 3B4110001 .286
   a- Jermaine Curtis, PH1000011 .000
Carlos Beltran, RF5021021 .300
Matt Holliday, LF5000022 .276
Allen Craig, 1B4010010 .262
Yadier Molina, C4010001 .302
Jon Jay, CF2110001 .226
    Trevor Rosenthal, P0000000 .000
    Marc Rzepczynski, P0000000 .000
    Fernando Salas, P0000000 .000
   b- Ty Wigginton, PH1000011 .167
    Mitchell Boggs, P0000000 .000
Pete Kozma, SS3011112 .268
Daniel Descalso, 2B2000201 .157
Jake Westbrook, P2000025 .125
    Joe Kelly, P0000000 .000
    Shane Robinson, CF1110100 .190
Totals34382410  
a-struck out for M. Carpenter in the 9th
b-struck out for Salas in the 8th
Batting
2B - Carlos Beltran (2, Grilli), Allen Craig (8, Melancon), Yadier Molina (6, Burnett), Jon Jay (3, Burnett)
RBI - Carlos Beltran (17), Pete Kozma (8)
2-OUT RBI - Carlos Beltran (10), Pete Kozma (1)
SB - Jon Jay (1, 2nd base off Burnett/Martin), Pete Kozma (1, 2nd base off Burnett/Martin)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
DP - Kozma-Descalso-Craig
St. Louis Cardinals
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Jake Westbrook 6600060 0.98
Joe Kelly (BS,1; L,0-1) 0.1344111 8.31
Trevor Rosenthal 0.2000100 4.05
Marc Rzepczynski 0.1111100 5.87
Fernando Salas 0.2000010 4.32
Mitchell Boggs 1100100 10.80
HBP - Tabata (by Trevor Rosenthal)
WP - Trevor Rosenthal (1), Fernando Salas (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Jake Westbrook 90-59, Joe Kelly 20-10, Trevor Rosenthal 24-12, Marc Rzepczynski 10-5, Fernando Salas 8-6, Mitchell Boggs 25-16
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jake Westbrook 6-5, Trevor Rosenthal 1-1, Marc Rzepczynski 1-0
Batters Faced - Jake Westbrook 23, Joe Kelly 5, Trevor Rosenthal 4, Marc Rzepczynski 3, Fernando Salas 2, Mitchell Boggs 5
Game Information
Attendance - 40909
Game Time - 3:42
Temperature - 53
Umpires - Home - Mike Winters, First Base - Mark Wegner, Second Base - Laz Diaz, Third Base - Tim Timmons