They’ll try to make it two in a row when the NL Central rivals resume their four-game series at Busch Stadium.
Pittsburgh had lost 12 in a row to St. Louis, including the first five meetings this season, before holding on for an 11-7 victory in Thursday’s series opener.
Pittsburgh, which had lost eight of its previous 10 games overall, took an 11-2 lead before the Cardinals closed with one run in the sixth and seventh and three more in the ninth. Rick White came on with the bases loaded in the ninth and got the final two outs for his second save in three chances.
Pittsburgh manager Lloyd McClendon insisted afterward he wasn’t aware of his team’s drought against the team with the NL’s best record.
“Guys, I’ll tell you and I’m serious, I didn’t know it was 12 games until somebody brought it up,” McClendon said. “This is the life we live. You have to have the mentality that when it’s over, it’s over. You get ready for the next one.”
St. Louis, which has lost three straight for the second time this season, made three errors, its highest total since committing five on May 22 in a 9-2 loss to Kansas City.
“It was just one of those days where the other team beat us to the punch all night long,” Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said. “Better pitching, better hitting, better fielding, they just outplayed us.”
The Cardinals haven’t lost four in a row since getting swept by Boston in last year’s World Series. The last time St. Louis dropped four straight in the regular season was Sept. 27-30.
Plate umpire Rick Reed left Thursday’s game in the bottom of the fifth inning after he was struck in the head by a foul ball. Reed complained of dizziness and headaches and was sent to a hospital for observation.
The game was delayed for 10 minutes while Ted Barrett, who was at second base, put on gear and moved behind the plate.