for this game

Cardinals clip Bucs by slimmest of margins

Apr 26, 2014 - 6:45 AM St. Louis, MO ( - Matt Holliday finished 3-for-3 and plated the game's only run with a double in the first, while Shelby Miller spun 5 2/3 strong frames, as the St. Louis Cardinals claimed a 1-0 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates in the opener of a three-game set Friday at Busch Stadium.

Miller (2-2) struck out four and scattered three hits with four walks over his scoreless outing.

Four St. Louis relievers combined to keep the Pirates off the board from there, culminating in Trevor Rosenthal's perfect ninth inning that gave the right-hander his seventh save of the season.

"You gotta tip your cap to what the bullpen did," Miller said. "They came in and did an excellent job."

Jhonny Peralta added a pair of hits for the Cardinals, who had lost two straight and four of their last five games.

Gerrit Cole (2-2) took the hard-luck loss, giving up just one run on six hits and three walks over seven innings.

"When you leave it out on the field and you can control what you can control and you don't get the result, yeah it hurts," Cole admitted. "That's why we play 162 of these. Stuff happens and it doesn't always go your way."

Jose Tabata collected two of the four hits for the Pirates, who dropped their fourth straight game after going 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position.

The Cardinals manufactured the lone run of the game in the first inning, which Matt Carpenter opened with a bunt single down the third-base line.

After Carpenter moved to second on a groundout, Holliday ripped a double to center, scoring the St. Louis second baseman easily for a 1-0 lead.

Pittsburgh loaded the bases with one out in the third, but Miller got Andrew McCutchen to ground into an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play to escape the frame unscathed.

St. Louis mounted a threat of its own in the home half, as Jon Jay worked a one-out walk before moving to third when Holliday followed with a single to right. Jay slid into third head-first and was originally ruled safe.

However, the Pirates challenged the call, which was overturned after video review showed third baseman Pedro Alvarez tag Jay's hand before it reached the bag. Matt Adams then singled to keep the inning alive, but Cole got Yadier Molina to ground out weakly to third to end the inning.

Pittsburgh put together its only other threat in the eighth against Carlos Martinez. Martinez hit pinch-hitter Starling Marte to begin the frame and then served up a single to Tabata before Neil Walker slapped one back to the mound.

Martinez alertly fired behind Marte to third, and after a short rundown, Marte was retired for the first out.

Martinez then uncorked a wild pitch and intentionally walked McCutchen to load the bases, but the St. Louis right-hander fanned Alvarez and Chris Stewart in succession to keep the Pirates off the board.

Rosenthal struck out the side in the ninth to close out the victory.

Game Notes

Pittsburgh took two of three at home from the Cardinals earlier in April ... Miller entered the game 0-5 over five career starts against Pittsburgh ... Molina singled in the eighth to extend his hitting streak to 15 games ... St. Louis went 1-for-11 with RISP and left 10 men on base.