ST. LOUIS — Francisco Liriano allowed one run on four hits in a complete-game effort and Pedro Alvarez and Garrett Jones each hit solo home runs in the second inning Wednesday as the Pittsburgh Pirates downed the St. Louis Cardinals 5-1 before 40,644 at Busch Stadium.
How it went
Alvarez hit his 29th homer of the season, a blast to dead center against Shelby Miller, to make it 1-0. Jones hit his 11th homer, a line drive to the seats in right, to make it 2-0. In the fifth, Neil Walker singled against Miller and went to second when David Freese was charged with an error on Jones' grounder. One out later, Tony Sanchez singled to drive in Walker and make it 3-0. After a sacrifice bunt by Liriano (13-5), Starling Marte had a two-run double to center to score the Pirates' final two runs.
By the numbers
The Cardinals fell to 12-19 against left-handers this season. ... Matt Holliday hit into his 27th double play, the most in baseball. ... Miller (11-8) lasted six innings, allowing five runs (three earned) on eight hits, with two walks and five strikeouts. ... Pittsburgh leads the Cardinals by three games in the NL Central with 43 to play. ... St. Louis relievers Michael Wacha and Randy Choate combined to retire the final nine hitters, seven on strikeouts.