The Cardinals survived a crummy first two innings from Kyle Lohse to salvage a 7-4 win Sunday and a 3-1 series victory over the Pirates.
Lohse gave up two hits and a walk in the first inning to find himself down 1-0 before he could record an out. The Birds scored three in the bottom of the first when Allen Craig singled and Matt Holliday doubled. Lance Berkman was intentionally walked to load the bases with one out and David Freese, with two strikes, squibbed a ball up the first base line that left the Bucs pitcher with only a play at first base and the game tied at one run.
Skip Schumaker singled to make the score 2-1 in favor of St. Louis and Ryan Theriot ended a hitless streak of 10 at bats to make it 3-1. But Lohse couldn't stand the prosperity and allowed a double a single and a double to start the second frame en route to three Pirates runs and a 4-3 deficit.
In the third, Theriot singled home Berkman to tie the game and in the fourth Craig hit a sacrifice fly to put the Birds back on top 5-4. It would stay that way until Freese and Schumaker singled in insurance runs in the seventh to provide the final score.
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After his shaky start, Lohse pitched scoreless third, fourth and fifth innings but could go no farther because of a high pitch count. Still, he gained his 100th career victory and improved to 12-8 on the season. Marc Rzepczyski, Kyle McClellan, Arthur Rhodes and Jason Motte combined for four scoreless innings.
Motte, perhaps because of the persistent call for manager Tony La Russa to give him a chance to close games or maybe because of the recent struggles of Fernando Salas, pitched an uneventful ninth to notch his first save of the season.
Jay, Holliday, Schumaker and Theriot each collected two hits in the game.
Cardinals Star of the Game: Holliday hit a pair of balls that appeared to be home runs. They died just short of the wall. But both turned out to be doubles.
Cardinals Play of the Game: Freese's seventh inning single to break the game open.
Lowlight: Lohse's shaky start.