Pirates 6, Cardinals 1

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ST. LOUIS (AP)—The Cardinals look a lot more like September duds than World Series champions.

Tom Gorzelanny and Matt Capps combined on a four-hitter and Adam LaRoche hit a three-run homer in a 6-1 victory over St. Louis on Tuesday that gave the Pittsburgh Pirates a two-game sweep.

“They’re the big dogs in our division, and it’s good to get out there and shut them down,” Gorzelanny said. “If we can keep doing that, you’re going to be seeing a lot of good things out of us.”

The Cardinals’ 6-7 start is the worst by a World Series winner since the 1998 Florida Marlins were 1-11. St. Louis completed a 1-3 homestand, scoring 10 runs in a victory over Milwaukee and totaling five runs in the losses. After going 49-31 last season, the NL’s second-best home record, the Cardinals are 1-6 at Busch Stadium.

“I’m glad we’re going away then, so we can play better,” said Albert Pujols, who was 0-for-7 with two walks in the series and is batting .160. “I’ve seen what this team can do.”

Gorzelanny (2-0) fell just short of his first complete game in 15 major league starts, allowing one run and four hits in 8 1-3 innings with two strikeouts and three walks. He faced the minimum through four innings, benefiting from a pair of double plays, and had a 12-inning scoreless streak before the Cardinals scored in the fifth on a pair of hits and Gary Bennett’s sacrifice fly.

“Everyone expects to do well, and that’s what I expect,” said Gorzelanny, the Pirates’ minor league pitcher of the year last season. “It’s exciting that I have gotten off to this kind of start.”

After So Taguchi doubled with one out in the ninth and Pujols walked, Capps came in and struck out Scott Rolen and Preston Wilson.

In his first game at Busch Stadium since striking out the Tigers’ Brandon Inge for the last out of the World Series, Adam Wainwright (1-1) gave up five runs—four earned—and eight hits in six innings. He has allowed 11 earned runs in 17 2-3 innings against the Pirates, a 5.60 ERA.

“I threw a lot of pitches over the plate, just bad, bad pitches,” Wainwright said. “I’m really getting tired of telling all the media folks that it wasn’t good because I feel like I’ve been doing that a lot lately. So results-wise, it finally caught up to me.”

Pittsburgh, which entered the series with four straight losses, beat the Cardinals in consecutive road games for the first time since May 30-31, 2003. The Pirates are 6-2 on the road—they didn’t get their sixth road win last year until June 9 and finished 24-57 away from home, the worst record in the NL.

Manager Jim Tracy got his 500th major league victory (500-484).

St. Louis committed two errors during the first three at-bats of the game. Chris Duffy drew a four-pitch walk leading off, Jack Wilson singled to right, and Duffy scored when Wilson overran the ball.

Wilson took third when shortstop David Eckstein threw high to first on Jason Bay’s grounder, and Wilson scored on Xavier Nady’s single.

Wilson and Bay singled with one out in the third ahead of LaRoche’s second homer, and only his fifth hit in 40 at-bats on a drive just inside the right-field foul pole.

“I don’t know how it stayed fair, the way things are going, but it did,” LaRoche said. “As soon as I hit I thought, ‘Oh, that’s foul.’ I’ve had some pretty good-hit balls right at people, so that was nice.”

Notes

Pirates 2B Freddy Sanchez was out of the lineup with a sore left wrist, injured on a checked swing on Wednesday night, but could play on Wednesday in the opener of a two-game series in Milwaukee. … Jim Edmonds was 0-for-3 in his 1,000th game with the Cardinals, the first to reach the milestone since Ray Lankford in 1998. … Nady, who had two hits and was hit by a pitch, had been a doubtful starter because of a stiff neck. … The Pirates got two stolen bases, by Duffy in the fourth and Nady in the fifth, after totaling one in their first 11 games.

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