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St. Louis at Pittsburgh

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St. Louis (63-44) «01030180013170
Pittsburgh (65-43)000000000051

Cardinals snap skid, avoid five-game sweep to Pirates

CBSSports.com wire reports
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PITTSBURGH -- Manager Mike Matheny admitted the St. Louis Cardinals' losing streak was starting to get to him.

"It's something you go to sleep thinking about and you wake up thinking about it and wonder what that sick feeling in your stomach is when you get up," Matheny said.

"You realize it's because we haven't been doing what we're supposed to do, what we're paid to do, and that's win ballgames."

The Cardinals ended their season-worst seven-game skid Thursday night and did so in emphatic fashion, averting a five-game sweep by routing the Pirates 13-0 in a matchup between the NL's top two teams.

St. Louis began the series with a 1½-game lead in the NL Central, but left with the Pirates ahead by 1½ games. The Cardinals avoided their first sweep in a set of at least five games since 1916, when the New York Giants took all six games.

Pittsburgh had won the previous four games at PNC Park by a combined score of 36-10.

"We had kept the cat in the bag for four games," Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle said. "Tonight, we let it out."

Joe Kelly (2-3) pitched six scoreless innings and had two hits. Tony Cruz added three hits, including a two-run double during an eight-run seventh inning.

Kelly allowed three hits while walking four and striking out four. Seth Maness, Michael Blazek and Edward Mujica pitched one inning each to complete the five-hitter.

"It felt good," Kelly said. "The whole time going out there I was just trying to pitch as best as I could. I just wanted to compete my butt off and try as hard as I could to help us get that win."

After the Cardinals failed to acquire a replacement for injured All-Star catcher Yadier Molina before Wednesday's non-waiver trading deadline, Cruz figures to get the majority of starts behind the plate. He had started only 11 games this season until Molina went on the disabled list Wednesday with a sprained right knee.

Carlos Beltran, Allen Craig, Matt Holliday and David Freese also had two of St. Louis' 17 hits. Craig came into the game in a 1-for-27 slump, and he had a two-run double in the seventh.

Charlie Morton (3-3) struggled against the Cardinals again, giving up five runs and 10 hits in six innings. He is 2-8 in his career against St. Louis.

"I made some bad pitches, some pitches that I could executed better and other that I wasn't smart about," Morton said. "I'm not saying they wouldn't have scored any runs, but I could gone about it better."

Morton threw a wild pitch that made it 1-0 in the second. St. Louis scored three times in the fourth as Jon Jay was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, Cruz grounded into a double play and Pete Kozma had an RBI single.

Beltran doubled in a run in the sixth before the Cardinals broke the game open an inning later.

"Today was a good sign for our team," Craig said. "There was no panic. We brought a lot of energy. You hate to go into lulls like we did because we've played so well all season long but I think this game should get us going again."

Notes

  • CF Starling Marte had two of Pittsburgh's five hits. He has a hit in all 12 career games against the Cardinals.
  • Pittsburgh C Russell Martin sat out the game with a sore left knee.
  • St. Louis opens a three-game series Friday night at Cincinnati with RHP Shelby Miller (10-7, 2.79) facing RHP Bronson Arroyo (9-8, 3.26).
  • RHP Gerrit Cole (5-4, 3.56) will pitch for Pittsburgh on Friday night in the first game of a three-game series against Colorado's Jhoulys Chacin (9-5, 3.54).
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Matt Holliday and Pete Kozma help the Cardinals salvage a win in an otherwise troublesome series against the Pirates.  (USATSI)
Matt Holliday and Pete Kozma help the Cardinals salvage a win in an otherwise troublesome series against the Pirates. (USATSI)

Players of the Game
St. Louis

J. Jay
AB 4
R 3
H 2
HR 0
RBI 2
St. Louis

T. Cruz
AB 5
R 1
H 3
HR 0
RBI 2
 
St. Louis Cardinals
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Matt Carpenter, 2B3001112 .309
Carlos Beltran, RF4021100 .297
   Adron Chambers, PR-RF1100002 .000
Allen Craig, 1B4222101 .318
   Brock Peterson, LF1000000 .111
Matt Holliday, LF5221010 .276
   Rob Johnson, C1000000 .286
David Freese, 3B3121110 .266
   a-Daniel Descalso, PH-2B1000000 .257
Jon Jay, CF4322014 .256
Tony Cruz, C-3B5132003 .234
Pete Kozma, SS5111012 .236
Joe Kelly, P3120010 .231
   b-Matt Adams, PH-1B2110001 .287
Totals4213171146  
a-grounded out for Blazek in the 9th
b-singled for Kelly in the 7th
Batting
2B - Carlos Beltran (15, Morton), Allen Craig (25, Black), Matt Holliday (17, Gomez), David Freese (16, Black), Tony Cruz (3, Gomez)
SF - Matt Carpenter (4)
SH - Matt Carpenter (3)
RBI - Matt Carpenter (52), Carlos Beltran (57), Allen Craig 2 (81), Matt Holliday (51), David Freese (35), Jon Jay 2 (41), Tony Cruz 2 (8), Pete Kozma (32)
2-OUT RBI - Carlos Beltran (24), David Freese (17), Pete Kozma (11)
Team LOB - 10
Fielding
DP - Kozma-M. Carpenter-Craig
St. Louis Cardinals
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Joe Kelly (W,2-3) 6300440 3.10
Seth Maness 1000000 2.70
Michael Blazek 1100010 5.40
Edward Mujica 1100010 1.97
Pitches-Strikes - Joe Kelly 102-60, Seth Maness 9-6, Michael Blazek 16-11, Edward Mujica 15-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Joe Kelly 7-6, Seth Maness 3-0, Michael Blazek 1-1, Edward Mujica 1-1
Batters Faced - Joe Kelly 24, Seth Maness 3, Michael Blazek 4, Edward Mujica 4
Pittsburgh Pirates
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Starling Marte, LF-CF4020010 .279
Neil Walker, 2B4000013 .242
Andrew McCutchen, CF2000100 .299
   Alex Presley, LF1000011 .291
Pedro Alvarez, 3B3000011 .240
   Josh Harrison, 3B1000001 .276
Garrett Jones, 1B3000001 .255
   a-Clint Barmes, PH1000010 .225
Tony Sanchez, C3010101 .214
Jose Tabata, RF3010101 .253
Jordy Mercer, SS3000102 .274
Charlie Morton, P2010013 .067
   Gaby Sanchez, 1B1000000 .239
Totals3105046  
a-struck out for Black in the 9th
Batting
2B - Starling Marte (22, Kelly)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - Alvarez-G. Jones
E - Pedro Alvarez (20, Throwing)
Pittsburgh Pirates
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Charlie Morton (L,3-3) 61055150 4.07
Jeanmar Gomez 0.1475200 3.26
Vic Black 2.2311110 4.50
WP - Charlie Morton (2), Vic Black (1)
HBP - Jay (by Charlie Morton)
Pitches-Strikes - Charlie Morton 104-64, Jeanmar Gomez 32-18, Vic Black 41-29
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Charlie Morton 11-1, Jeanmar Gomez 1-1, Vic Black 4-3
Batters Faced - Charlie Morton 30, Jeanmar Gomez 8, Vic Black 12
Game Information
Attendance - 31999
Game Time - 3:22
Temperature - 81
Umpires - Home - Chad Fairchild, First Base - Jeff Kellogg, Second Base - Eric Cooper, Third Base - Paul Schrieber