The St. Louis Cardinals seem to have finally found their bats.
They pounded out seven runs on nine hits including their first two homeruns in a week and a half while ace Adam Wainwright and reliever Carlos Martinez combined on a shut out to beat the Pittsburgh Pirates at Busch Stadium.
Both the homers came off the bat of shortstop Jhonny Peralta, one to stretch St. Louis' lead to 2-0 in the bottom of the fifth -- and the other a three-run shot to break the game open in the sixth.
Peralta's batting average improved to .195 with the two homers. He's collected five hits over his last three starts.
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Also showing signs of life was Allen Craig who cranked a ball in the second inning with Yadier Molina on second base. The ball seemed headed for a safe landing in the gap. But Pirates centerfielder Andrew McCutchen tracked it down.
In the sixth Craig finally broke through with an opposite field RBI flair. He clapped emphatically at first base after reaching safely, seeming to indicate that he felt things were finally starting to turn around for him.
Wainwright was dominant all day. The only time the Pirates really threatened came in the third when Tony Sanchez reached on a swinging bunt single to third base. Pitcher Edinson Volquez popped a ball into short center and St. Louis outfielder Jon Jay came up just short of catching it. Sanchez was trapped between the bases because he didn't know if Volquez's ball would be caught. Jay might have retired him on a force out at second. But he made a really pathetic, flat-footed throw that allowed the runner to move up safely.
After a failed bunt attempt, Wainwright settled and got Jose Tabata to fly out harmlessly and then struck out McCutchen. The latter had a rough day with three strikeouts and four runners stranded in his four trips to the plate.
Wainwright improved to 5-1 on the season with a 1.20 ERA.
Cardinals Star of the Game: Wainwright.
Cardinals Play of the Game: Peralta's game breaking homer.
Lowlight: Jon Jay, who was one of the Cardinals' hottest hitters, was 0-for-3 and he hasn't reached base in his last nine at-bats over three games.