Pittsburgh, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - Yadier Molina smacked a solo homer among his two hits and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Pittsburgh Pirates, 6-1, in the middle test of a three-game set.
Jhonny Peralta added a two-run shot and Matt Carpenter scored a pair of runs for the Cardinals, who are off to a 3-2 start. Joe Kelly (1-0) allowed a run on six hits and four walks over 5 1/3 innings to pick up the win.
Francisco Liriano (0-1) went 3-0 with a 0.75 ERA against St. Louis last season and was coming off a 10-strikeout performance over six scoreless frames in a no decision against the Chicago Cubs Monday, but surrendered four runs on seven hits and two walks over six innings Saturday.
"He caught a lot of the plate with his pitches tonight," Molina said.
Travis Snyder had two of Pittsburgh's six hits. The Pirates went 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position and left 11 men on base.
"We had opportunities to cash in and we weren't able to do it," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said
Carpenter singled and Peralta walked to begin the game before Carpenter came home on Matt Holliday's single up the middle. Allen Craig then lifted a sacrifice fly to right to bring home Peralta. Holliday crossed the plate on a Matt Adams single to make it, 3-0.
The Pirates got a run back in the third on Russell Martin's two-out, bases- loaded walk, but were unable to push across another after Neil Walker grounded out to shortstop to end the frame.
Molina smacked an 0-2 slider into the seats for a one-out solo shot in the sixth and a 4-1 Cardinals advantage. Peralta's two-run blast in the ninth accounted for the final margin.
St. Louis was 2-for-9 with runners in scoring position ... The Pirates won 10 of 19 versus the Cardinals last season, winning seven of the 10 meetings in Pittsburgh.