Pittsburgh’s Garrett Jones homered to lead off the bottom of the 11th and lift the Pirates to a 5-4 win over the Cardinals on Tuesday night. Milwaukee beat the Dodgers 2-1 to increase their lead to seven games in the NL Central.
Jones’ game winner came on a 2-2 curveball from Arthur Rhodes (3-4) for his 14th home run, which was estimated to be 440 feet bouncing off a walkway and into the Allegheny River. This came after Rhodes did a great job of getting Ryan Doumit and Neal Walker to fly out with runners on first and second in the bottom of the tenth.
In the ninth, with the Cardinals up by a run, Walker homered on the first pitch from closer Fernando Salas, who blew just his fourth save in 27 opportunities to tie the game at 4-4. The Cardinals grabbed the lead in the ninth on Matt Holliday’s sacrifice fly in the top of the inning.
The Cardinals tied the game at 3-3 in the sixth on Albert Pujols’ 30th homer of the season and a one out double from David Freese that knocked Pirates’ starter Jeff Karstens from the game.
Holliday doubled in the second inning when center fielder Andrew McCutcheon misplayed a ball over his head, then scored on Skip Schumaker’s single to give the Cards a 1-0 lead.
However, McCutcheon more than made up for his blunder by hitting a three run homer in the bottom of the third off Chris Carpenter. Then in the tenth, McCutcheon made a running catch on a ball hit by Pujols headed for the gap. Had it dropped, Rafael Furcal would have scored who took off from first. “It’s funny how baseball works,” McCutchen said. “I messed up one play about as badly as I could mess it up but in the same game I came back and hit a home run and made a big catch.”