Cardinals 10, Pirates 6

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ST. LOUIS (AP)—Despite piling up impressive offensive numbers, the St. Louis Cardinals aren’t ready to bask in their success just yet.

The Cardinals beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 10-6 on Saturday night, moving to a season-high 39 games above .500 at 81-42. They’ve won three straight, 14 of 18 and are 58-20 since May 27. They’ve won eight straight series and 14 of 15.

With 1 1/2 months to go in the regular season, fans are already talking about St. Louis’ magic number—26. But the Cardinals aren’t.

“The reason those kinds of things happen is nobody in here pays attention to stats like that,” said catcher Mike Matheny, one of three Cardinals to homer, along with Scott Rolen and Albert Pujols.

“We’ve done a good job of not patting ourselves on the back,” manager Tony La Russa said.

Jeff Suppan (12-6) gave up five runs—three earned—and four hits in six innings for St. Louis. He gave up four runs in the sixth, but was already ahead 8-1 by then.

“The offense—what can you say? Early and often,” Suppan said.

The Cardinals got off to a quick start against left-hander Sean Burnett (5-5), scoring three times in the first.

After one-out walks to Larry Walker and Pujols, Rolen hit a 3-2 pitch 395 feet into the Pirates’ bullpen in left-center. It was his 31st homer and gave him 110 RBIs—both equaling career highs.

Craig Wilson homered off Suppan leading off the second to make it 3-1. It was his 23rd of the year, and fifth in 13 games.

The Cardinals made it 6-1 in the fourth. Edgar Renteria reached on a bunt single, stole second and went to third on catcher Jason Kendall’s throwing error. Jim Edmonds, who has reached base safely in 44 straight games, singled to center to score Renteria. Reggie Sanders followed with a single, and Matheny hit a two-run double.

Pujols followed another walk to Walker with a homer off Burnett in the fifth. It was his 38th, tying him with Los Angeles’ Adrian Beltre for the major league lead and gave him 96 RBIs. Pujols was 1-for-11 in the series before the homer. He also singled in the seventh and was 2-for-3.

“In order to compete with the Cardinals, you have to pitch well. And tonight, we didn’t pitch well,” Pirates manager Lloyd McClendon said.

Burnett gave up eight runs on nine hits before leaving after Pujols homered with nobody out in the fifth. He had no strikeouts and three walks and was escorted off the field by a trainer. The Pirates said he suffered elbow irritation. An X-ray was negative, and an MRI is planned for Monday in Pittsburgh.

“The hitters were definitely licking their chops waiting for a pitch to hit,” Burnett said.

Renteria, Rolen and Pujols are 1-2-3 in batting in the NL against left-handed pitching. They were a combined 4-for-6 against Burnett.

The Pirates’ sixth began with a walk to Kendall. Jack Wilson singled and Daryle Ward reached on a fielder’s choice and Tony Womack’s error allowed a run to score. Craig Wilson hit an RBI double, Rob Mackowiak hit a run-scoring grounder and Jason Bay hit a sacrifice fly to make it 8-5.

Matheny hit a solo homer in the sixth off reliever Mark Corey, and Edmonds drove in a run with a sacrifice fly in the seventh to make it 10-5.

Ty Wigginton’s RBI single in the eighth got Pittsburgh within 10-6.


The game’s starting pitchers are a combined 0-for-66 at the plate this season. Suppan, a .293 hitter last season, is 0-for-43; Burnett is hitless in 23 at-bats. … The Cardinals haven’t had a losing week—Monday through Sunday — since May 3-9.

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