NFL game recap of Pittsburgh Pirates vs. St. Louis Cardinals from 09/02/14
St. Louis, MO (SportsNetwork.com) - Adam Wainwright pitched into the seventh inning and drove in three runs, and the Cardinals extended their lead in the National League Central with a 6-4 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Peter Bourjos had two hits, knocked in a run and scored twice for the Cardinals, who moved two games clear of Milwaukee for first place and four in front of third-place Pittsburgh. The Brewers lost to the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field Tuesday night.
Wainwright (16-9) gave up seven hits, three of them homers, and yielded four runs over six-plus frames. He snapped a personal two-game skid and helped the Cardinals win their fourth straight contest.
"He gave up a couple of bloops, a couple of two-out hits, where there wasn't any pressure on him," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "For us to put him out there and not have his real good stuff and come out with a win, it's a real good night."
Jeff Locke (6-4) surrendered four hits and five runs -- four earned -- over three-plus innings. He walked five batters.
"There wasn't a lot working for him tonight," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "He wasn't repeating his stroke or working the strike zone. He just couldn't make pitches or find a rhythm,"
Russell Martin, Jordy Mercer and Starling Marte went deep for the Pirates, who suffered their third straight defeat and are in danger of being swept in this three-game set. Pittsburgh stayed two games behind Milwaukee for the second wild card spot.
The Pirates threatened to go ahead in the fourth inning. With a man on first, Marte lined a ball down the right field line, but rookie Randal Grichuk made a diving catch.
Walks to Yadier Molina and Daniel Descalso led to Bourjos' RBI single to left off the side wall that gave the Cardinals a 3-2 edge in the fourth. Wainwright followed with a two-run bloop hit to center.
Marte homered to left with Ike Davis aboard in the seventh, but Jhonny Peralta doubled to start the home half and later scored on a John Axford wild pitch.
The Pirates wasted an Andrew Lambo leadoff double in the eighth and Pat Neshek retired the side in order in the ninth for his fifth save.
Martin homered in the second, before Wainwright had an RBI groundout and Matt Carpenter lifted a sacrifice fly in the bottom portion of the inning.
Mercer homered to left to start the third to tie the game, 2-2.