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Pirates 5, Cardinals 3

The SportsXchange

ST. LOUIS -- What Jake Westbrook labored for six innings to build, the St. Louis bullpen undid.

Feasting on the pastry cart rolled out to it Saturday by Joe Kelly and Trevor Rosenthal, Pittsburgh rallied for four runs and then wrapped up a 5-3 win with its stingy bullpen doing what the Cardinals couldn't.

A.J. Burnett (2-2) left the game trailing 2-0 after laboring through six innings and 111 pitches, but he was the beneficiary of St. Louis' latest late-game meltdown. Kelly (0-1) was charged with all four runs in the seventh, while Rosenthal walked Andrew McCutchen on a 3-2 pitch with the bases filled to force the tiebreaking run home.

Pedro Alvarez started the seventh with a single and Russell Martin lined a first-pitch homer over the wall in right field. Clint Barmes and Starling Marte sandwiched walks around a strikeout, forcing Kelly from the hill for Rosenthal.

After hitting Jose Tabata and walking McCutchen, Rosenthal appeared to get an inning-ending double play ball from Garrett Jones, but Daniel Descalso bobbled it and had to settle for an out at first. Marte scored to make it 4-2.

Pinch-hitter Gaby Sanchez added a sacrifice fly in the eighth for the Pirates (14-10), who moved within a half-game of the Cardinals (14-9) for first place in the National League Central. Three relievers collected the last nine outs, with Jason Grilli picking up his league-leading 10th save despite yielding a run-scoring double to Carlos Beltran.

Westbrook controlled the first six innings of the game, which was mostly devoid of the fireworks that marked St. Louis' 9-1 win Friday that saw three Pirates ejected -- including starting pitcher Jonathan Sanchez, who was suspended for six games and has appealed it.

Entering the game with a 1-7 record and 5.28 ERA against Pittsburgh, Westbrook scattered six hits, walked none and whiffed six. He threw 60 of his 91 pitches for strikes and lowered his ERA to 0.98.

The Cardinals scored in the first on Matt Holliday's double-play ball, then upped their lead to 2-0 in the sixth on Pete Kozma's two-out single that plated Jon Jay. But their bullpen, which is 0-5 with an ERA over 5.00, failed to do the job again.

NOTES: Pittsburgh second baseman Neil Walker received six stitches in his right index finger after Kozma stepped on his hand in the eighth inning Friday night as Walker tried to break up a double play. Walker could go on the disabled list as the stitches won't be removed for at least a week. ... Pittsburgh right fielder Travis Snider was scratched just before first pitch with discomfort in his left side and was replaced by Tabata. ... Cardinals infielder Jermaine Curtis made his major-league debut in the bottom of the ninth inning as a pinch-hitter, striking out after an eight-pitch at-bat.
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