Matt Morris’ first start of the season was a success, as he lasted six innings to get the win in the Cardinals 7-1 triumph over the Pirates Tuesday night. With the win, St. Louis finished a five-game road trip with a perfect 5-0 record. Morris, who had off-season shoulder surgery, allowed one run off four hits and a walk and stuck out seven.
He got early help from his teammates, who put four runs on the board in the second inning. Jim Edmonds got things going with his fifth home run of the season to make it 1-0. Larry Walker drove in two with a single and Albert Pujols capped the rally with an RBI double.
Morris’ only hiccup came in the bottom of the second inning when Darryle Ward belted a home run with the bases empty to score Pittsburgh’s only run of the game. Scott Rolen got the lead back up to four runs in the fourth inning with an infield single that scored Mark Grudzielanek and Yadier Molina’s RBI double in the fifth inning made it 6-1. Pujols added an insurance run with an RBI single to score Grudzielanek in the eighth.
Morris, who was on an 85-pitch count, left after completing six innings and Ray King, Al Reyes and Randy Flores worked the final three innings almost to perfection. King allowed a hit in the seventh, but after that the Pirates failed to reach base the rest of the way.
The Cardinals five-game winning streak has put them in first place and they have a game-and-a-half lead over the Reds in the National League Central. They come back home to Busch for a two-game series against the Cubs starting Wednesday night. Jeff Suppan, who is 1-1, will face Carlos Zambrano, who is 1-0 at 6:10.