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Berkman's blast lifts Cardinals over Pirates

Aug 27, 2011 - 5:20 AM St. Louis, MO (Sports Network) - Lance Berkman's two-run homer in the eighth inning lifted the St. Louis Cardinals over the Pittsburgh Pirates, 5-4, in the second test of a four-game series.

Yadier Molina hit a three-run homer for the Cardinals, who have won two in a row since a three-game skid.

St. Louis starter Jake Westbrook gave up four runs on seven hits over six-plus innings. He walked five and struck out three. Kyle McClellan (10-6) tossed a scoreless eighth and ninth to pick up the win.

Jose Tabata, Josh Harrison, Ryan Doumit and Andrew McCutchen each drove in a run for the Pirates.

James McDonald allowed three runs on five hits over six-plus innings for Pittsburgh.

"I couldn't get my breaking ball over to help my fastball," McDonald said.

Jose Veras (2-4) gave up the homer to Berkman to suffer the loss.

The Pirates struck for three runs in the first inning. Tabata walked and Alex Presley doubled to get things started. McCutchen and Doumit followed with back-to-back RBI singles. Garrett Jones walked two batters later to load the bases with one out. Harrison's sacrifice fly made it 3-0.

Molina tied the game with one swing of the bat in the second. Matt Holliday walked and David Freese singled to put men on first and second with one out. Molina stepped to the plate and crushed McDonald's offering over the wall in left to make it 3-3.

Pittsburgh took the lead in the fourth. Ronny Cedeno reached base on an infield single, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt and scored on Tabata's double to right.

The Pirates loaded the bases with two outs in the fifth, but Cedeno flied out to end the threat.

Pittsburgh's inability to extend its lead came back to haunt them, as the Cardinals took the lead in the eighth. Holliday worked a one-out walk and crossed the plate on Berkman's blast to right.

"You're not stepping into the batter's box saying 'I need to hit a home run right here,'" Berkman said. "Generally you're just saying, 'Let's get a good pitch to hit.'"

Game Notes

The Cardinals have taken six of 11 from the Pirates this season...The wife of Cardinals pitching coach Dave Duncan underwent surgery to have a brain tumor removed. Jeanine Duncan had the surgery on Sunday, the team said in a release issued Friday on behalf of the couple. Dave Duncan, who has taken a leave of absence from the team, said his wife's spirits remain high and indicated she has had no loss of memory nor experienced any difficulty communicating.