Cards Beat the Bucs 9-3 to Even the Series

The Cardinals, who blew two save opportunities and a ninth-inning lead in the season opener, didn't give themselves that chance Tuesday.

They had three home runs, a rare triple by slow-moving catcher Yadier Molina and strong starting pitching by Kyle Lohse in an easy win over Pittsburgh.

"Our offense was kind of relentless," manager Tony La Russa said. "Overall a solid night."

The night marked the first appearance of career outfielder Skip Schumaker at second base. And though Schumaker made a throwing error, he also fielded half a dozen other chances successfully, and two of them were well above average plays to his left.

"Even though it's very unfair what we're asking him to do, he may pull it off," La Russa said. "He gives us a chance to make it work."

Schumaker was harder on himself.

"I made an error, so that's never good," he said. "The error cost a run. Luckily, we had the lead, but you never want to make the error.

"I made decent plays, but the routine plays are the ones that have to be made, not the great ones."

One of the home runs was by first baseman Albert Pujols. No surprise there, especially considering Pujols now is 15-for-35 with five homers against Pittsburgh right-hander Ian Snell.

CARDINALS 9, PIRATES 3: LF Chris Duncan, who had serious neck surgery last August, hit his first homer since last July 2. That drive, a two-run smash after a walk to 1B Albert Pujols in the first inning, got the Cardinals off and running to their first win of the season. RHP Kyle Lohse, though manager Tony La Russa said he "was on fumes" in the seventh inning, gave up just two earned runs.

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