- Sports & Recreation
- Carlos Beltran
- Lance Lynn
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By Bucky Dent, The Sports Xchange April 27, 2013 12:50 AM
Carlos Beltran spent St. Louis' off day Thursday feeling sick. He spent Friday night nauseating Pittsburgh pitching.ST. LOUIS --
The veteran right fielder homered from both sides of the plate, the 35th multi-homer game of his distinguished career, as the Cardinals notched a 9-1 win in a game that saw the ejection of three Pirates. Lance Lynn (4-0) won his fourth straight start, permitting two hits in seven innings and striking out nine. Dating to last year, it was the ninth straight win for Lynn, tying him with Barry Zito of San Francisco for the longest active winning streak by a National League pitcher. But Beltran gave him plenty of help. After following Matt Carpenter's leadoff homer in the bottom of the first with one of his own against Jonathan Sanchez (0-3), Beltran touched reliever Jeanmar Gomez for a 428-foot shot in the fifth with Carpenter aboard, giving St. Louis (14-8) a 5-0 lead. Not bad for a guy who probably wouldn't have been able to play 24 hours earlier. "Every time I feel sick, I have a good game," he said. "When you feel like that, you don't try too hard. You just relax." Few in the sellout crowd of 44,090 at Busch Stadium were relaxed when Sanchez, after allowing the back-to-back homers and a single to Matt Holliday, ear-holed Allen Craig with the first pitch. Home-plate umpire Tim Timmons didn't bother with a warning, immediately tossing Sanchez and then ejecting Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle after a brief argument. "It happens sometimes," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said of Timmons' decision. "It's his call. What I think doesn't matter." "You've got two homers and a line-drive single up the middle, and the very first pitch is up around the shoulders and head area," Timmons said to a pool reporter. "He threw intentionally at him, and I deemed it intentional and (he was) done. Very dangerous." The Pirates (13-10) weren't pleased when Lynn plunked their leadoff hitter, Starling Marte, twice in a row after Sanchez's beaning of Craig. Hitting coach Jay Bell joined Sanchez and Hurdle in the clubhouse after Marte was hit in the fifth when Timmons booted him for excessive chirping from the bench. Lynn said he wasn't hitting Marte intentionally. "You never want to hit anyone, especially with two strikes," Lynn said. "In that situation, you still have to pitch inside. Obviously, I'm not trying to hit him." In between the hit batters and three walks, Lynn mostly overpowered Pittsburgh in another solid outing for the St. Louis rotation. Lynn's 3.10 ERA is the highest among the starters, who are a combined 14-4 with a 2.24 ERA. It's the main reason the Cardinals own a 1 1/2-game lead over Pittsburgh in the NL Central despite an inconsistent offense and a sputtering bullpen. "It all comes back to pitching," Matheny said. "Tonight was a good representation of how Lance should go about his business. He had a good disposition and he was aggressive." Pedro Alvarez put the Pirates on the board in the sixth with a sacrifice fly, then had a chance to put them back in the game when struggling reliever Mitchell Boggs loaded the bases with one out in the eighth on an infield single, hit batter and walk. But left-hander Randy Choate replaced Boggs and induced a 4-6-3 double-play grounder from Alvarez, ending the inning and Pittsburgh's chances to win. "I felt like I had pretty good at-bats all night," said Alvarez, whose 0 for 3 included two warning-track outs. "Obviously, if that (double play) ball gets through, it could be a different game." The Cardinals tacked on four runs in their half of the eighth on RBI singles by Pete Kozma and Holliday and a two-run single by Craig. NOTES: St. Louis placed first baseman Matt Adams on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to April 22, with a strained right oblique, and purchased infielder Jermaine Curtis from Memphis of the Pacific Coast League. Adams was hitting .542 with three homers in 24 at-bats, while Curtis was batting .292 with a team-high 17 RBI in 14 games for Memphis ... Pittsburgh center fielder Andrew McCutchen played in his 600th major-league game. ... Pirates pitching is allowing opponents to hit just .215, the lowest average in the majors.