Pittsburgh (60-77) at St. Louis (67-67)

Fair Currently: St. Louis, MO
Temp: 45° F
  • Game info: 8:10 pm EDT Tue Sep 4, 2007
  • TV: FSPI, FSMW
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Pittsburgh Pirates didn’t have much success against the St. Louis Cardinals earlier this season, but they’re finding their groove recently.

Matt Morris takes the mound against his former team as the Pirates continue their four-game series with the Cardinals on Tuesday night.

St. Louis (67-67) won seven of the first nine meetings this season, but the Pirates (60-77) have taken the last three outscoring the Cardinals 31-5.

Jack Wilson had a career high-tying four hits, including a two-run home run, and three RBIs to lead Pittsburgh to an 11-0 rout in Monday’s series opener.

“It was really nice to have a four-hit day,” Wilson told the Pirates’ official Web site. “Hopefully that’s something to start a good finish this month.”

Ronny Paulino and Freddy Sanchez each went 3-for-4 with two RBIs for the Pirates, who totaled 16 hits and snapped a five-game losing streak during which they had scored a total of 13 runs.The Cardinals, meanwhile, saw their impressive five-game home winning streak end. They averaged 6.2 runs in over that span.

The loss was just St. Louis’ fifth in 20 home games, but it didn’t lose any ground in the NL Central race as the Chicago Cubs and Milwaukee also were defeated Monday. The Cardinals are one-half game behind the second-place Brewers and two games in back of the division-leading Cubs.

St. Louis, though, suffered another blow when it learned that Scott Rolen, who hasn’t played since Tuesday at Houston, will miss the rest of the season. The Cardinals’ third baseman will undergo surgery on his left shoulder, according to the team’s official Web site, but a date has not been determined.

Morris (8-8, 4.41 ERA) spent his first eight seasons with the Cardinals from 1997-2005, going 101-62 with a 3.61 ERA in 237 games with 206 starts. The right-hander has faced his former team three times since then, all while with San Francisco.

He is 0-2 with a 4.82 ERA in those games and allowed five runs - one earned - over 6 2-3 innings in a 6-5, 12-inning defeat to St. Louis on April 18.

Morris will square off against the Cardinals for the first time in a Pittsburgh uniform after being acquired from the Giants on July 31. He is 1-1 with a 4.66 ERA in six starts with the Pirates.

He gave up three runs and nine hits over 5 2-3 innings on Thursday, but didn’t factor in a 5-4 defeat to Cincinnati.

St. Louis will counter with Joel Pineiro (3-2, 3.71), who began the season as a reliever for Boston before being acquired by the Cardinals on July 30. Since joining St. Louis’ rotation, the right-hander has held opponents to three or fewer runs in all but one of his six starts.

Pineiro allowed just two runs and five hits over six innings on Thursday, but St. Louis lost 2-1 to Houston. He also walked one and struck out three.

“He pitched a winning game,” Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said.

Pineiro won his only career start versus the Pirates on June 19, 2004, allowing just one run and four hits through eight innings of the 5-1 victory while with Seattle.

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Starting Pitchers

M. Morris Pit vs. J. PiƱeiro Phi
10-11 Record 7-5
4.89 ERA 4.33
102 K 60
61 BB 26
1.52 WHIP 1.39

Scoreboard

Tuesday, Sep 4