Veteran lefty Trever Miller surrendered the first save by allowing a two-run, game-tying single by Pirates outfielder Nyger Morgan in the sixth. Then, in the ninth, rookie right-hander Jason Motte was unable to hold onto a 4-2 lead, giving up four runs -- the last three coming on a bases-clearing double on an 0-2 pitch to Pittsburgh shortstop Jack Wilson.
"I didn't get it up and out enough," said the hard-throwing Motte, who fell behind other hitters before Wilson beat him. "I got behind guys in potential fastball counts, and they're a good fastball-hitting team."
Cardinals manager Tony La Russa lamented that the Cardinals missed on some scoring chances, stranding 10 runners.
And, though right-hander Adam Wainwright left the game in the sixth, not having given up a run (Miller allowed two of his runners to score), he was wild, walking five while striking out seven.
"Believe me, he's not happy about that," La Russa said. "The thing he's kicking himself about is he had an opportunity to get deeper into the game."
PIRATES 6, CARDINALS 4: RF Ryan Ludwick, who had a breakout season last year when he hit 37 homers, picked up where he left off with a titanic blast over the center field fence in the eighth inning to break a 2-2 tie and put the Cardinals ahead.
The Cardinals scored a second run in that inning on a sacrifice fly by 3B David Freese, who was making his major league debut, but RHP Jason Motte gave up four hits and four runs in the ninth.