The Cardinals topped the Pirates 6-3 on Tuesday, thanks in part to Juan Encarnacion. The Cardinals’ outfielder entered the game with just one RBI, but on Tuesday he exploded with a 3-for-4 performance and drove in four runs. Encarnacion gave St. Louis a 2-0 lead in the first inning with a ground-rule double, which scored Jim Edmonds, who singled in a run earlier in the first.
The Pirates erased that advantage with three runs in the third inning. Craig Wilson’s two run single in tied the game and gave Pittsburgh a 3-2 lead.
But Encarnacion retaliated for St. Louis with a two-run homer in the bottom half of the inning to give the Cardinals a 4-3 lead and put the Cardinals back on top for good. But he wasn’t done. Encarnacion drove in Albert Pujols with a triple in the fifth inning to make it 5-3.
Scott Spiezio, who was filling in for Scott Rolen, hit a two-run homer in the seventh to cap the scoring. Rolen was out with bronchitis.
On the mound, Jeff Suppan (1-2) held the Pirates down for seven innings to get his first win of the season. Other than the third inning, he was dominant. All three runs and three of the four hits he allowed were in the third. He walked none and struck out three.
Braden Looper and Jason Isringhausen worked the eighth and ninth to close the game out with two hitless innings. Isringhausen earned his sixth save, working around a two-out walk to Joe Randa.
The Cardinals remain a game out of first in the N.L. Central, with a record of 13-7.