Pirates 5, Cardinals 4, 10 innings

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ST. LOUIS (AP)—Trailing by three runs after two innings, the Pittsburgh Pirates were thinking, oh no, not again. Instead, they kept showing their resiliency against the NL’s best team.

Jason Bay hit a pair of game-tying home runs and Jose Castillo hit a tiebreaking shot in the 10th inning, leading the Pirates to a 5-4 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday.

“I couldn’t be more proud of them today,” manager Lloyd McClendon said. “You talk about big wins in the course of a season for a young team, they don’t get any bigger than this.”

Bay had four RBIs for the Pirates, who earned a split in the four-game series and beat the Cardinals for only the second time in 16 meetings after losing the previous two games by a combined score of 16-1.

“They pretty much had their way with us the last two games,” Bay said. “Early on it looked like it might have been more of the same, and we’ve been on the other end of that more often than not.”

Bay’s three-run shot tied the game at 3 in the third, and he tied it again with his 15th homer leading off ninth against Jason Isringhausen, who blew only his second save opportunity in 23 chances. The homer came on an 0-2 hanging curveball.

“Doing this job you’ve got to get lucky every once in a while,” Isringhausen said. “I threw him a bad pitch and I didn’t get too lucky and he hit it out, so I tip my hat to him.”

Yadier Molina homered for the third straight game and had three RBIs for the Cardinals, who hit 11 homers in the series. Reggie Sanders also homered but St. Louis hurt itself by hitting into six double plays, one of them on a bizarre play in the fourth when Molina passed Abraham Nunez on the bases on what looked to be a double off the right-field wall.

“I think everybody knew what was going on but me,” Nunez said. “I noticed (Molina) passed me and he was pointing, ‘go to second, go to second,’ but you don’t realize and it was too late.”

Castillo lined his fifth homer, and second in four days, on an 0-1 pitch from Al Reyes (2-1) leading off the 10th.

“I’m happy for my team,” Castillo said through an interpreter. “Everybody did the job they’re supposed to do.”

The Cardinals had runners on first and third with one out in the ninth before John Grabow (2-0) got pinch hitter Larry Walker and Jim Edmonds to foul out to the catcher.

Jose Mesa got the last three outs for his 19th save in 22 chances and the 311th of his career, passing Goose Gossage on the career list and tying Tom Henke for 14th overall.

Sanders hit his 15th homer off Oliver Perez leading off the second, and Molina hit his fifth four batters later to drive in Nunez, who had doubled, to make it 3-0.

The Cardinals took a 4-3 lead in the fourth but missed a chance for more runs when Molina hit a liner off the right-center fence but passed Nunez who had stopped between first and second.

The play came with one out and runners on first and second. Nunez, who was on first, apparently thought Molina’s drive was caught by right fielder Matt Lawton and was retreating to first as Molina rounded the bag and passed him while gesturing to his teammate to turn around.

Molina was called out for passing Nunez, and the stunned Nunez was standing near second when he was tagged out by Castillo at second for an inning-ending double play. Hector Luna scored from second on the play and Molina was credited with an RBI single.

That was the second bizarre incident. The game began on a contentious note when both benches plus the bullpens emptied in the top of the first, apparently after the Cardinals suspected Bay of signaling pitches to Daryle Ward from second.

“They said I was giving signs and I didn’t know what they were talking about,” Bay said. “I was only out there for two pitches. I’m not that good.”

Notes

Hall of Fame pitcher Bob Gibson did the honors on the daily stadium countdown, removing his uniform number 45 from the right-field wall while receiving a standing ovation. Gibson, who played at Busch Stadium from 1966-75, said he won’t miss the park that is being demolished after the season. “I don’t miss ballparks,” Gibson said. “I can’t wait until the new one is built. I like new.” … Sanders robbed Castillo of at least extra bases with a leaping catch at the left field wall in the seventh. … So Taguchi, who had been batting .418 in his previous 15 starts, was 0-for-3 with two double play balls and lifted for pinch hitter Edmonds, who had been rested against Perez, in the eighth.

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