Pujols Reaches 100 RBI as Cards Top Pirates

Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Jeff Karstens throws against the St. Louis Cardinals in the second inning of the baseball game in Pittsburgh, Saturday, May 8, 2010. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Jeff Karstens throws against the St. Louis Cardinals in the second inning of the baseball game in Pittsburgh, Saturday, May 8, 2010. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic) (Keith Srakocic - AP)
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The Associated Press
Saturday, May 8, 2010; 10:05 PM

PITTSBURGH -- Jeff Karstens made a bid to keep his spot in the rotation with six innings of three-hit ball and Jason Jaramillo had three hits to lead the Pittsburgh Pirates over the St. Louis Cardinals 2-0 Saturday night.

Karstens (1-1) combined with four relievers on a four-hitter. Jaramillo, the Pirates' backup catcher, tied a career high with his third three-hit game and had an RBI single.

The Pirates won for the fourth time in their last five games and beat St. Louis for just the fourth time in their last 14 meetings. The Cardinals lost for the fourth time in five games.

The Pirates will need to drop someone from the starting rotation Monday, when Ross Ohlendorf is scheduled to be activated from the disabled list to start that night against Cincinnati after missing a month with back spasms.

Karstens is the most likely candidate to be moved into a long relief role or sent to Triple-A Indianapolis because Zach Duke, Paul Maholm and Charlie Morton are assured of spots in the rotation and manager John Russell said Brian Burres deserves to start after pitching a combined 12 1-3 scoreless innings in his last two outings.

Octavio Dotel pitched the ninth to complete the Pirates' second shutout of the season and his sixth save in eight opportunities.

Cardinals rookie Jaime Garcia (3-2) again pitched well but had nothing but a loss to show for it after allowing one run and seven hits in six innings. He walked two and struck out seven. The left-hander has allowed zero or one runs in five of his six starts this season and lasted at least six innings each time out.

Pittsburgh scored its lone run off Garcia in the second inning when Steve Pearce, Jaramillo and Ronny Cedeno hit consecutive one-out singles. Cedeno's hit deflected off the glove of diving third baseman David Freese.

Jaramillo hit an RBI single off Mitchell Boggs in the eighth inning to increase the Pirates' lead to 2-0.

St. Louis' best scoring chance came in the sixth but Ryan Ludwick, who had doubled, was thrown out at home by left fielder Lastings Milledge to end the inning while trying to score on Colby Rasmus' single. Ludwick argued vehemently with home plate umpire Marty Foster that Jaramillo missed on his swipe tag.

The Cardinals put runners on first and second with two outs in the eighth but Albert Pujols, a career .381 hitter at PNC Park, struck out swinging at Joel Hanrahan's curveball to end the threat.

The Cardinals have been either shut out or held to one run in eight of their 12 losses.

Andrew McCutchen had two doubles and a walk for the Pirates. He is 9 for 13 (.692) in his last four games and 22 for 50 (.440) in his last 12.

NOTES: St. Louis right fielder Matt Holliday (strained groin) was not in the starting lineup but singled as a pinch hitter in the eighth inning. Cardinals manager Tony La Russa is hopeful Holliday will be able to play Sunday Pittsburgh first baseman Jeff Clement, who is in a 1-for-21 slump that has dropped his batting average to .173, was on the bench for a fourth straight game. He continues to do extensive pregame work with hitting coach Don Long. Clement pinch hit in the sixth and struck out looking with two runners on to end the inning The game-time temperature was 49 degrees, 33 degrees colder than on Friday night.


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© 2010 The Associated Press

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