for this game

Punto sends Cardinals past Pirates

Sep 14, 2011 - 4:48 AM Pittsburgh, PA (Sports Network) - Nick Punto's go-ahead RBI double in the top of the ninth vaulted the Cardinals to a 6-4 victory over the Pirates in the middle contest of a three-game series.

Kyle McClellan (11-6) recorded the final out in the bottom of the eighth to earn the win and Jason Motte stranded a runner in scoring position in the ninth to notch his sixth save of the season.

After signing a two-year contract extension prior to the game, St. Louis starter Chris Carpenter allowed four runs on 10 hits over seven innings. He added a two-run single for the Cardinals, who remain 4 1/2 games behind Atlanta in the NL wild card race.

The Braves defeated the Marlins, 7-1, on Tuesday. The Brewers, who lead the Cardinals by six games in the NL Central, are in action against the Rockies.

Joel Hanrahan (0-4) was saddled with the loss after allowing Punto's double and an Albert Pujols sac fly in the ninth.

Andrew McCutchen belted a game-tying home run in the seventh and Derrek Lee added a solo shot for the Pirates, losers in 11 of their last 16.

The Cardinals grabbed a 4-2 lead in the fifth on Jon Jay's RBI double. Later in the frame, Daniel Moskos relieved Pirates starter Jeff Karstens and induced Lance Berkman into an inning-ending double play.

Karstens allowed four runs on seven hits over 4 1/3 frames.

"I really didn't command my fastball very well and when I left it over the plate they were able to do some damage with it," said Karstens.

In the home fifth, Lee brought home Pedro Ciriaco with a sac fly, but after an appeal, third base umpire Sam Holbrook ruled that Ciriaco left third base early, resulting in a double play. Replays contradicted the ruling, showing that Ciriaco waited until the ball was caught before leaving third.

The Pirates persisted, however, tying the game in the seventh on McCutchen's two-run blast to right-center.

Arthur Rhodes spelled Carpenter in the eighth and recorded two outs before McClellan got Ryan Ludwick to fly out, ending the inning.

In the top of the ninth, Daniel Descalso hit a one-out single, and pinch- runner Tyler Greene scored from first on Punto's double to left-center. Later in the inning, Pujols' sac fly put St. Louis up by two.

In the Pirates' half, singles by Josh Harrison and Pedro Alvarez placed runners at first and second with no outs, but Ciriaco bunted into a force at third and Neil Walker hit into a 6-4-3 double play, ending the game.

The Cardinals, who had won five straight before dropping Monday's series opener, 6-5, took the lead in the second on Yadier Molina's one-run double and Carpenter's two-run, line drive single to center.

"It was a good, gutty, hang in there type of win, especially (after) yesterday," said Cardinals manager Tony La Russa.

Lee scored on Pujols' fielding error in the home half and made it a 3-2 game an inning later with a homer to right-center.

Game Notes

Karstens had his previous two starts skipped due to arm soreness...Pirates manager Clint Hurdle was ejected by Holbrook following the controversial appeal at third base...Pujols committed three errors.

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    Cardinals 6, Pirates 4  FinalSep 21 12:02 PM

  • ST. LOUIS: 6

    Sep 13 10:03 PM

  • Chris Leroux enters the game for the Pirates with runners on first and third and two out, batting 9th.

    Cardinals 6, Pirates 4  Top 9, 2 OutsSep 13 9:45 PM

  • Rafael Furcal reached first on Pedro Ciriaco's fielding error. On the play, Nick Punto advances to third. Runners on first and third with one out and Jon Jay due up.

    Cardinals 5, Pirates 4  Top 9, 1 OutSep 13 9:39 PM

  • Andrew McCutchen two-out, two-run Home Run (23) to right center scored Pedro Ciriaco. Derrek Lee due up.

    Cardinals 4, Pirates 4  Bot 7, 2 OutsSep 13 9:10 PM
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    Cardinals 4, Pirates 4  Bot 7, 2 OutsSep 13 9:10 PM

  • Derrek Lee flied out to right. On the play, Pedro Ciriaco ruled out at third, after an appeal that he left the base early to end the inning.

    Cardinals 4, Pirates 2  End 5Sep 13 8:37 PM
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    Cardinals 4, Pirates 2  End 5Sep 13 8:37 PM

  • Derrek Lee sacrifice fly to right scored Pedro Ciriaco with two out. Runner on second and Ryan Doumit due up.

    Cardinals 4, Pirates 3  Bot 5, 2 OutsSep 13 8:35 PM
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    Cardinals 4, Pirates 3  Bot 5, 2 OutsSep 13 8:35 PM

  • Jon Jay doubled to right scoring Rafael Furcal with none out. Runner on second and Albert Pujols due up.

    Cardinals 4, Pirates 2  Top 5, 0 OutsSep 13 8:17 PM
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    Cardinals 3, Pirates 2  Top 5, 0 OutsSep 13 8:14 PM

  • Derrek Lee two-out, solo Home Run (5) to right center. Ryan Doumit due up.

    Cardinals 3, Pirates 2  Bot 3, 2 OutsSep 13 7:55 PM

  • Josh Harrison reached first on Albert Pujols's fielding error scoring Derrek Lee with one out. On the play, Ryan Ludwick advances to second and Garrett Jones advances to third. Bases loaded and Jeff Karstens due up.

    Cardinals 3, Pirates 1  Bot 2, 1 OutSep 13 7:38 PM

  • Chris Carpenter singled to center scoring Skip Schumaker and Yadier Molina with two out. On the play, Daniel Descalso advances to third. Runners on first and third and Rafael Furcal due up.

    Cardinals 3, Pirates 0  Top 2, 1 OutSep 13 7:27 PM

  • Yadier Molina ground-rule double to left scored Lance Berkman with one out. On the play, Skip Schumaker advances to third. Runners on second and third and Daniel Descalso due up.

    Cardinals 1, Pirates 0  Top 2, 1 OutSep 13 7:25 PM

  • ST. LOUIS: 0
    Top 1, 0 Outs

    Sep 13 7:06 PM
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