Pirates Salvage Final Game of Series Beating Cards in 10th

9 years 2 weeks 5 days ago Sunday, July 24 2011 Jul 24, 2011 Sunday, July 24, 2011 3:41:06 PM CDT July 24, 2011 in Baseball
Source: Assoicated Press
By: Associated Press

PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Xavier Paul scored on Chase d'Arnaud's sacrifice fly in the bottom of the 10th and the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the St. Louis Cardinals 4-3 on Sunday.

Paul legged out an infield hit with one out against St. Louis reliever Jason Motte (3-2), then stole second and advanced to third when catcher Gerald Laird's throw rolled into center field.

D'Arnaud lined to center and the speedy Paul easily beat the throw from centerfielder Colby Rasmus as the Pirates snapped a three-game losing streak.

Joe Beimel (1-1) retired the Cardinals in order to pick up his first victory as a Pirate in more than eight years.

Ronny Cedeno and Eric Fryer had two hits apiece for Pittsburgh.

Rasmus had two hits, including his 10th homer of the season for the Cardinals, who blew their 18th save of the season to fall into a virtual tie with the Pirates in the NL Central standings.

When Paul scampered home with the winning run, it marked the first time during the three-game series that the Pirates took the lead.

St. Louis went up three times on Sunday, but on each occasion Pittsburgh found a way to claw back.

Rasmus appeared to put the Cardinals in charge with a deep homer to right field in the sixth off starter Charlie Morton, but Pittsburgh tied it in the seventh off St. Louis reliever Lance Lynn.

Cedeno led off the inning with a double and moved to third when Lynn and third baseman Daniel Descalso miscommunicated on a bunt attempt by Fryer. Cedeno tied it up on a double play by Steven Pearce and Pittsburgh's bullpen shut the door.

The Cardinals never got a runner to third over the final 4 2/3 innings, as Jason Grilli, Chris Resop, Joel Hanrahan and Beimel held them in check.

St. Louis dominated the first two games of the set, badly outplaying the Pirates on Friday and Saturday to dull a bit of the buzz generated when they briefly moved into first place in the division with a win over Cincinnati on Tuesday.

Manager Clint Hurdle pointed to a tentative effort by the starters, who were a little too wary of St. Louis' vaunted lineup of sluggers. Paul Maholm and Kevin Correia combined to give up 12 runs in 10 2/3 innings as the Pirates were outscored 15-5.

Morton's sinker proved sharp enough to keep Pittsburgh in it, though he struggled with his command. He walked five in 5 1/3 innings and throwing a wild pitch that allowed Descalso to sprint home from third to put St. Louis up 2-1.

Morton exacted a bit of revenge with a sacrifice fly to tie the game at two but Rasmus wasted little time putting St. Louis back in front, drilling a Morton fastball into the seats in right field for his first home since July 1.

It looked like it might be enough for St. Louis starter Kyle Lohse.

The veteran right-hander has struggled this month, entering the game with an 0-3 mark and a 7.64 ERA in July.

The team was so concerned about his performance it ordered the 32-year-old right-hander back to St. Louis last week to have the inflammation on the middle finger of his right (pitching) hand examined.

The tests revealed no significant damage and he was effective if not overpowering against Pittsburgh's slumping lineup. Lohse gave up two runs in five innings, striking out four while throwing 45 of his 64 pitches for strikes.

His numbers would have been even better if not for some uncharacteristically sloppy defense.

The Pirates scratched a run across in the third behind the first career steal by Fryer, who advanced to third when shortstop Ryan Theriot misplayed the throw from Laird.

The steal was the first against Lohse since Pittsburgh's Jose Tabata swiped second against him on Aug. 23, 2010. The sequence was repeated almost exactly in the 10th as the Pirates avoided their longest losing streak since dropping six straight in May.

Pittsburgh begins a seven-game road trip through Atlanta and Philadelphia on Monday while St. Louis begins a user-friendly portion of the schedule with home series this week against also-rans Houston and Chicago, who began the day a combined 32.5 games out of first.


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