ST. LOUIS — Pittsburgh scored on a wild pitch and a passed ball in the fourth inning Friday night and made the runs hold up in a 2-1 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals in the opener of a three-game series at Busch Stadium. The Pirates extended their lead over the Cardinals in the NL wild-card race to two games.
How it went
Jake Westbrook (12-9) walked Travis Snider and allowed singles to Andrew McCutchen and Garrett Jones as Pittsburgh loaded the bases with no outs in the fourth. Snider scored on a wild pitch, and after Michael McKenry reached on shortstop Rafael Furcal's error to again load the bases, Tony Cruz was charged with a passed ball with Pedro Alvarez batting, making it 2-0. Pirates pitcher James McDonald (11-5) was lifted after six scoreless innings and was replaced by Chris Resop. Carlos Beltran blooped to start the seventh and went to third on David Freese's double. One out later, Cruz's infield out drove in the Cardinals' only run. Cardinals third-base coach Jose Oquendo was ejected by plate umpire Lance Barrett with one out in the sixth for arguing balls and strikes with plate umpire Lance Barrett.
By the numbers
The Cardinals fell to 12-21 in one-run games. ... Westbrook worked 7 2/3 innings, allowing two runs (one earned) on six hits. He walked three and struck out three. ... Cardinals left fielder Matt Holliday was 0-for-4 and is in a 4-for-38 slump. ... Jason Grilli pitched the eighth for the Pirates and posted his 27th hold before Joel Hanrahan pitched the ninth for his 34th save. ... Freese had two of the Cardinals' five hits.