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St. Louis at Pittsburgh

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St. Louis (62-42)0100000000162
Pittsburgh (63-42) «0000000001261

Bucs outlast Cards in 11, move into first place in NL Central

CBSSports.com wire reports
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PITTSBURGH -- Pittsburgh Pirates manager Clint Hurdle firmly believes the city can become a baseball town once again.

At the rate his team is going, it might be by the end of the week.

Alex Presley hit a game-ending single with two outs in the 11th inning, lifting the Pirates to a 2-1 victory against the St. Louis Cardinals in the opener of a doubleheader on Tuesday.

Presley hit a sharp bouncer that deflected off the glove of pitcher Kevin Siegrist (0-1) and away from shortstop Pete Kozma, who was moving toward second base. Kozma could not recover and the ball rolled into the outfield, allowing Russell Martin to sprint all the way home from second base.

With the win, the Pirates moved into first-place in the NL Central, at least for a few hours.

"It's a battle, it's fun," said Pittsburgh starter A.J. Burnett. "Let's roll from here. Let's keep going."

The win gave Pittsburgh its second victory in less than 24 hours over the Cardinals, who have lost a season-high five straight. Burnett pitched seven emotionally charged innings, giving up one run on three hits, striking out nine and walking three. Though he has only one victory since May 3, Burnett's performance set the tone and the bullpen followed his lead.

Vin Mazzaro (6-2) picked up the victory after retiring three of the four batters he faced in the 11th.

The Cardinals lead the NL in runs and batting average, but have scored only five runs in their past 47 innings and went 1 for 10 with runners in scoring position in the opener.

"We had some hard-hit balls with runners in scoring position," manager Mike Matheny said. "It just didn't work out."

St. Louis' best chance came in the 10th when they put runners on the corners with one out. Matt Holliday ripped a grounder that Pittsburgh shortstop Clint Barmes backhanded and turned into Holliday's NL-leading 24th double play of the season.

Lance Lynn was dominant in six innings for the Cardinals, but was long gone by the time Presley came through against Siegrist.

"He was right on, everything he was doing today," Matheny said of Lynn. "If we keep him doing it the rest of the season we're going to win a lot of games."

The Pirates survived by doing what they've done for most of the first four months of the season, riding another stellar effort from baseball's top pitching staff and getting just enough hitting to win.

Presley's slapper capped a 3-hour, 52-minute marathon that had all the makings of playoff baseball. A packed PNC Park -- on a Tuesday afternoon, no less -- buzzed as Burnett and Lynn matched each other for the better part of two hours.

Burnett received a bit of help with two on and one out in the first when center fielder Andrew McCutchen made a diving grab of a sinking liner by Carlos Beltran. The Gold Glover then hopped to his feet and alertly doubled up Holliday.

Jay struck out swinging leading off the sixth but moved all the way to second when the ball slipped away from Martin, the Pirates' catcher, and rolled toward the backstop. Martin strolled to pick up the ball, thinking it was foul, allowing Jay to reach second base.

Martin, Burnett and Hurdle began an animated discussion with home plate umpire Eric Cooper that spilled over into Holliday's at-bat. At one point Cooper came out from behind the plate and walked toward Burnett, pointing at the pitcher and yelling.

The call, however, seemed only to fire up Burnett. The fiery ace struck out Holliday, got Beltran to fly out to left and knocked down a grounder by Mike Adams before emphatically firing to first to beat the lumbering Adams to the bag to get out of the inning.

The histrionics were even louder in the seventh when Burnett struck out pinch-hitter Allen Craig with the 113th and final pitch of his day. Burnett let loose an elaborate fist-pump before making his way to the dugout following arguably his sharpest outing of the season.

Lynn was just as spectacular. He needed to be on a day when he didn't receive the kind of backing that allowed him to enter the game with 12 victories, the second-highest total in the National League.

Pittsburgh scratched across a run in the first when Alvarez doubled home McCutchen, but the Pirates didn't get a runner to third over Lynn's final five innings. He allowed one run on three hits, striking out seven and walking only two.

Notes

  • Cardinals CF Jon Jay's team record for consecutive errorless games ended at 245 when he misplayed a single by Pittsburgh's Starling Marte in the fifth inning that allowed Marte to advance to second. Jay's previous error came on Aug. 24, 2011.
  • St. Louis sent struggling reliever Marc Rzepczynski to Cleveland on Tuesday in exchange for minor league infielder Juan Herrera. Rzepczynski had a 7.84 ERA in 10 1/3 innings this season with the Cardinals.
  • Pirates 2009 first-round pick Tony Sanchez will get his first big-league start at catcher in the nightcap.
 
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Players of the Game
Pittsburgh

A. Burnett
IP 7.0
H 3
ER 1
BB 3
K 9
St. Louis

L. Lynn
IP 6.0
H 3
ER 1
BB 2
K 7
 
St. Louis Cardinals
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Matt Carpenter, 2B4000101 .314
Jon Jay, CF4010133 .250
Matt Holliday, LF5021012 .270
Carlos Beltran, RF5000006 .293
Matt Adams, 1B4000121 .290
Tony Cruz, C5010001 .218
Daniel Descalso, 3B5000021 .255
Pete Kozma, SS3110101 .241
Lance Lynn, P2010010 .125
   a-Allen Craig, PH1000011 .321
Totals38161510  
a-struck out for Lynn in the 7th
b-walked for Rosenthal in the 10th
Batting
2B - Pete Kozma (17, Burnett)
RBI - Matt Holliday (48)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
E - Daniel Descalso (9, Throwing), Jon Jay (1, Misplayed grounder)
St. Louis Cardinals
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Lance Lynn 6311270 3.87
Seth Maness 1.2100100 2.78
Randy Choate 0.1000000 2.74
Trevor Rosenthal 1100010 2.16
Michael Blazek 1000130 6.75
Kevin Siegrist (L,0-1) 0.1111200 1.23
IBB - A. McCutchen by Seth Maness
Pitches-Strikes - Lance Lynn 97-58, Seth Maness 27-13, Randy Choate 5-2, Trevor Rosenthal 11-8, Michael Blazek 20-11, Kevin Siegrist 21-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Lance Lynn 4-7, Seth Maness 3-2, Randy Choate 1-0
Batters Faced - Lance Lynn 23, Seth Maness 7, Randy Choate 1, Trevor Rosenthal 4, Michael Blazek 4, Kevin Siegrist 4
Pittsburgh Pirates
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Starling Marte, LF4010010 .277
Neil Walker, 2B4000102 .242
Andrew McCutchen, CF4110131 .302
Pedro Alvarez, 3B4011102 .244
Russell Martin, C4100122 .247
Garrett Jones, 1B3000110 .253
Alex Presley, RF5021012 .300
Clint Barmes, SS4000011 .220
A.J. Burnett, P2000010 .081
   b-Josh Harrison, PH1010000 .261
   c-Jose Tabata, PH1000010 .252
Totals36262611  
a-walked for G. Jones in the 11th
b-singled for Wilson in the 8th
c-struck out for Morris in the 10th
Batting
2B - Andrew McCutchen (28, Lynn), Pedro Alvarez (10, Lynn)
SH - Starling Marte (4)
RBI - Pedro Alvarez (69), Alex Presley (4)
2-OUT RBI - Pedro Alvarez (27)
Team LOB - 10
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Andrew McCutchen 1
DP - A. McCutchen-G. Jones, A. McCutchen-G. Jones-Barmes-Walker-G. Jones
E - Garrett Jones (7, Throwing)
Pittsburgh Pirates
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
A.J. Burnett 7311390 2.86
Justin Wilson 1100010 2.08
Mark Melancon 1100000 0.89
Bryan Morris 1100100 2.78
Vin Mazzaro (W,6-2) 1000100 3.04
WP - A.J. Burnett (7)
Pitches-Strikes - A.J. Burnett 113-71, Justin Wilson 15-12, Mark Melancon 7-7, Bryan Morris 11-5, Vin Mazzaro 21-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - A.J. Burnett 6-6, Mark Melancon 2-1, Bryan Morris 1-1, Vin Mazzaro 2-1
Batters Faced - A.J. Burnett 27, Justin Wilson 4, Mark Melancon 4, Bryan Morris 4, Vin Mazzaro 4
Game Information
Attendance - 0
Game Time - 3:50
Temperature - 76
Umpires - Home - Eric Cooper, First Base - Cory Blaser, Second Base - Chad Fairchild, Third Base - Jeff Kellogg