St. Louis Cardinals start road trip with victory


5. 4. 8. 33. Final

Kolten Wong delivers as St. Louis opens road trip with win

A simple lineup switch paid off big time for the St. Louis Cardinals.

With Matt Carpenter sidelined due to extreme fatigue, the Cardinals turned to Kolten Wong to bat second in the lineup and Wong came through with a huge night as St. Louis beat the Pittsburgh Pirates, 8-5, on Friday at PNC Park.

Wong had three hits and drove in three runs as the Cardinals improved to 22-7 overall. The Chicago Cubs beat the Milwaukee Brewers and maintained a 6-1/2 game deficit behind the Cardinals, in second place.

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It was an off night by Michael Wacha‘s standards, as he only had one strikeout in six innings, but Wacha still improved to 5-0 overall. Trevor Rosenthal picked up his 11th save of the season.

After Pittsburgh took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first, St. Louis tied the score at 1-1. Then the Cardinals put their runs on the board in two big innings.

With three runs in the third and four runs in the seventh, the Cardinals built a safe lead and hung on for the victory.

Home-run power was the name of the game on Friday. After a solo homer by Jhonny Peralta, Matt Holliday‘s three-run bomb in the third and Wong’s seventh-inning blast were big blows to Pirates pitcher Francisco Liriano.

This is huge for the St. Louis Cardinals because Liriano has traditionally been a Cardinal killer in the past.

Most every starter had at least one hit as St. Louis had 11 hits total to Pittsburgh’s 12.

What’s up next

The teams meet again Saturday at 7:05 p.m. for game two of a three-game series. Carlos Martinez takes the hill for St. Louis in his first start following a wild outing against the Chicago Cubs that saw him give up five runs in the first inning. Vance Worley is on the hill for the Pirates.