Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina has become one of the best two-out hitters on the team and he demonstrated that again Friday night when he drove in two runs with a two-out single in the first and the winning run on a two-out double in the ninth as the Cardinals snapped a losing streak at three games. But he also made the defensive play of the game, too.
Although the Pittsburgh Pirates tied the score in the eighth, they could have gone ahead were it not for Molina. Molina got two putouts on the same double play when, in a rundown messed up by the Pirates, Molina tagged out Andrew McCutchen, who had just arrived at third and lead runner Andy LaRoche, who had retreated there and then mistakenly stepped off the bag that still belonged to him -- also to be tagged by Molina.
"It looked to me like (LaRoche) didn't know the rule," Molina said. "I just did my part."
Later in the inning, Molina was unable to block a Ryan Franklin wild pitch as the Pirates evened the score. "That breaks my heart," said Molina. "Nine times out of 10, I block that ball. But when you get that chance at bat in the next inning, you feel way better."
After equaling his career high with four hits, Molina has knocked in 19 runs with his 30 hits.
Left fielder Matt Holliday, who had dipped to .275 in a two-for-13 dry spell, had three singles and a double although he came out for a pinch- runner in the ninth inning when his sore groin tightened. He said he could play Saturday.
CARDINALS 4, PIRATES
Ryan Franklin blew his first save of the season when he tossed a wild pitch in
the eighth inning but he gained his second win with a scoreless ninth. The
Cardinals, after losing three straight to
NOTES AND QUOTES
RHP Chris Carpenter remained unbeaten in his last 10 decisions against the Pirates although he didn't get the win Friday night. Not having his best fastball again, Carpenter relied on curveballs, cutters and changeups to strike out eight and walk none in seven innings.
LF Matt Holliday, who tied his career high with four hits, came out for a pinch runner in the ninth when a groin injury tightened up on him but Holliday said he could play Saturday.
OF Jon Jay, who had gone hitless in his first four pinch-hitting appearances, has had four straight pinch hits, including one in the eighth inning Friday. That run by the rookie has impressed manager Tony La Russa, who already was pleased by the .385 average (5-for-13) compiled by Nick Stavinoha, a right-handed batter with little big league experience himself. "(Jay) and Stav are doing things young guys shouldn't be able to do," said La Russa. "You can see (Jay) has baseball savvy. He has that reputation and I can see it."
2B Skip Schumaker, much better against left-handed pitching this season, is 7-for-16 against lefties, including a run-scoring hit against Pittsburgh LHP Zach Duke on Friday. That was Schumaker's first hit in 11 at-bats against Duke.
By The Numbers:
1—Home runs allowed by the Cardinals in their first 13 games at home, through May 2.
Quote To Note:
"He's worth everything he gets because he's proved it."
LF Matt Holliday (strained groin) left the May 7 game for a pinch runner but expects to play on May 8.
INF Felipe Lopez (strained right elbow) went on the 15-day disabled list April 26. As of May 3, he hadn't resumed swinging a bat.