A crowd of 29,567 turned out in Busch Stadium yesterday, made this the earliest ever for St. Louis' season attendance to pass a million--and saw the Cardinals lose their fifth straight, a 10-3 embarrassment by the streaking-in-the-other-direction Pittsburgh Pirates.
The Pirates used 13 hits, including home runs by Dale Berra and Jason Thompson, and excellent relief pitching from Lee Tunnell to win their seventh straight.
Coming off a World Series championship, the Cardinals have drawn 1,018,008 for 33 home games. On the field, after a strong start, they have fallen into their longest losing run since 1981 and slipped to .500.
Tunnell (2-3) won with 4 1/3 scoreless innings--he retired the first 12 men he faced--in relief of Don Robinson, making his first start of the season after another siege of shoulder trouble. Kevin Hagen (2-1) lost.
Down, 6-1, the Cardinals scored twice in the fifth and had the tying run at bat, chasing Robinson one out shy of qualifying for the victory.
The homers by Berra and Thompson, off Jim Kaat in the seventh, sewed it up for Tunnell, who took a 5.24 ERA into the game.