Cardinals beat Bucs, pull back into tie atop NL Central

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Updated: September 1, 2013

Pittsburgh, PA (Sports Network) – Matt Holliday and David Freese each knocked
in two runs and Joe Kelly continued his dominance as a starting pitcher,
helping the St. Louis Cardinals salvage the finale of a three-game set against
the Pittsburgh Pirates with a 7-2 decision Sunday at PNC Park.

Allen Craig collected two hits, an RBI and two runs scored, while Yadier
Molina added a pair of hits, an RBI and a run scored for the Cardinals, who
snapped a three-game slide to move back into a tie with Pittsburgh atop the NL
Central.

Kelly (7-3) held the Pirates to one run on four hits and two walks over six
solid frames to improve to 7-0 in 10 starts since joining St. Louis’ starting
rotation in early July.

St. Louis did most of its damage against Pittsburgh left-hander Kris Johnson,
who was recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis prior to the game to make his
first career start.

Johnson (0-2) failed to make it out of the third inning, surrendering five
runs on seven hits and two walks in just two-plus innings to absorb the loss.

Marlon Byrd registered two of Pittsburgh’s six hits while knocking in a run
and scoring another for the Pirates, who were looking to complete their first
three-game sweep of the Cardinals in Pittsburgh since Sept. 12-14, 2008.

The Cardinals jumped on Johnson in the first, as Matt Carpenter clubbed a
leadoff double and Shane Robinson followed with a walk. After a Holliday fly
out, both runners moved up a base on a wild pitch before Craig looped a single
into shallow center field to score Carpenter from third for a 1-0 lead.

Molina followed with a line-drive single to left to plate Robinson and double
St. Louis’ lead before Freese walked on five pitches to load the bases for Jon
Jay, who laced a sacrifice fly to center to score Craig for a 3-0 lead.

The Cardinals added to their edge in the third, as Craig and Molina opened the
frame with back-to-back singles before Freese followed with a double into the
gap in left-center to score both runners for a 5-0 cushion.

St. Louis tacked on two more runs in the sixth. Kelly and Carpenter stroked
back-to-back two-out singles before Robinson walked to load the bases. After a
brief meeting at the mound, Holliday punched a base hit through the right side
of the infield to score Kelly and Carpenter for a 7-0 cushion.

Pittsburgh manufactured a run in the home half when Byrd singled home Andrew
McCutchen, who was hit by a pitch with one out before moving into scoring
position on a groundout.

Byrd led off the home half of the ninth with a double to left and moved to
third on a fly out before scoring on John Buck’s single to center.

Edward Mujica quickly put Pittsburgh’s comeback bid to rest by getting Jordy
Mercer to ground into a game-ending 6-4-3 double play.

Game Notes

Pittsburgh first baseman Justin Morneau, who was acquired from the Twins on
Saturday, made his Pirates debut and finished 1-for-3 with a walk … Prior to
the game, St. Louis activated catcher Tony Cruz off the 15-day disabled list
and recalled outfielder Adron Chambers from Triple-A Memphis … In addition
to recalling Johnson, Pittsburgh activated outfielder Travis Snider from the
15-day disabled list and selected the contract of pitcher Kyle Farnsworth from
Indianapolis … The Pirates went 2-for-7 with runners in scoring position.