for this game

Holliday's HR provides insurance for Cardinals victory

Aug 26, 2011 - 5:35 AM St. Louis, MO (Sports Network) - Matt Holliday's three-run home run in the eighth inning sealed an 8-4 victory by the Cardinals over the Pirates in the first test of a four-game series.

Allen Craig added two hits and scored twice as St. Louis snapped a three-game losing streak.

Edwin Jackson (3-2) went six innings, allowing four runs -- one earned -- on six hits and three walks for the win.

"He did a good job of recognizing what wasn't right and making the adjustment a couple of times," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said. "That's encouraging."

Charlie Morton (9-7) allowed five runs on nine hits and two walks through 4 1/3 innings in Pittsburgh's sixth defeat in nine games.

"I felt really good in the bullpen. I don't know if that was incorrect feedback I was getting from myself," Morton said. "It didn't translate into stuff or a good outing."

After Craig's one-out, ground-rule double to right field in the first, Albert Pujols pulled an RBI double into the left-field corner. Two batters later, Lance Berkman's base hit to right brought home Pujols and gave the Cardinals a 2-0 lead.

Rafael Furcal singled in the second, advanced to second on Jackson's sacrifice bunt and crossed the plate on Skip Schumaker's bloop single into shallow center field.

Michael McKenry reached first on David Freese's fielding error to lead off the third, moved to second on a Morton sacrifice bunt and came home on an Alex Presley single. Back-to-back walks by Andrew McCutchen and Neil Walker then loaded the bases for Garrett Jones, who lined a 3-2 pitch into center field to score Presley and McCutchen, tying the game at three.

The Pirates then took a 4-3 lead in the fourth when Ronny Cedeno and McKenry led off the frame with consecutive doubles off the wall in left field. After McKenry advanced to third on a Morton bunt, he was tagged out in a run-down between third and home when Jackson snagged a Jose Tabata come-backer, keeping it a one-run game.

The Cardinals loaded the bases with one out in the fifth on a Craig single and walks by Pujols and Berkman. Freese followed with a two-run base hit to right, putting St. Louis back on top and knocking Morton out of the game.

Chris Leroux came on next and induced a fly out by Yadier Molina and a ground out by Furcal to keep it a 5-4 game.

Pittsburgh stranded the game-tying run in scoring position in the sixth and eighth innings, and the Cardinals made the Pirates pay in the bottom half of the eighth, when Holliday blasted a three-run homer into the left-field bleachers. Pujols was intentionally walked with two outs and a runner on third prior to Holliday's homer.

Game Notes

Pittsburgh optioned infielder Pedro Ciriaco and pitcher Aaron Thompson to Triple-A Indianapolis, and recalled outfielder Alex Presley and infielder Chase d'Arnaud from Indianapolis...Jackson is now 3-0 in four career starts against Pittsburgh and the victory gave him 10 wins for his fourth straight season. He was 7-7 with the Chicago White Sox before being acquired by the Cardinals...St. Louis improved to 1-3 on a seven-game homestand...Tabata went 0-for-4 to end a 10-game hitting streak.