Carlos Beltran, Jon Jay and Matt Holliday delivered RBI hits to help chase starter A.J. Burnett, who gave up five runs in three innings, his shortest outing of the year, and Joe Kelly beat the Pittsburgh Pirates for the third straight time in a 12-8 win Friday night that pulled the Cardinals within a half-game of the NL Central leaders.
After chasing Burnett, the Cardinals opened a seven-run seventh with nine straight hits off three relievers including Yadier Molina’s three-run homer off Bryan Morris. Leadoff man Matt Carpenter tripled and doubled to tie Albert Pujols’ season record of 98 hits in 2008 at Busch Stadium, and he had his major league high 55th multi-hit game.
The Cardinals never make it easy…despite being up 12-1 after seven innings, they needed Edward Mujica to get the final out for his 36th save in 39 chances. Josh Harrison hit a two-run pinch-hit homer off Jake Westbrook in a four-run eighth and Jose Tabata hit a two-run double off Carlos Martinez in a three-run ninth before Harrison flied out with two men on to end the game.