St. Louis Cardinals' Albert Pujols (5) watches his RBI single during the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday, April 5, 2011, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Tom Gannam) By Tom Gannam
Pittsburgh Pirates' Josh Rodriguez (10) heads back to the dugout as St. Louis Cardinals fans cheer after the final out of a baseball game Tuesday, April 5, 2011, in St. Louis. The Cardinals beat the Pirates 3-2. (AP Photo/Tom Gannam) By Tom Gannam
St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Kyle McClellan throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday, April 5, 2011, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Tom Gannam) By Tom Gannam
St. Louis Cardinals' Ryan Theriot connects for a single during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday, April 5, 2011, in St. Louis.(AP Photo/Tom Gannam) By Tom Gannam
ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Albert Pujols had the tying and go-ahead RBIs and Kyle McClellan rebounded from a shaky beginning to pitch well in his first career start as the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 3-2 Tuesday night.
Pujols hasn't seemed comfortable at the plate in the opening homestand, grounding into three double plays in one game and entering 2 for 16 with a solo homer.
The three-time NL MVP didn't exactly bust out against the Pirates but came through with a sacrifice fly to tie it at 2 in the fifth and bounced a go-ahead single through the left side off Scott Olsen (0-1) in the seventh.
McClellan, in the rotation because of a season-ending injury to Adam Wainwright, gave up two runs and six hits in six innings. He struck out seven and walked one.
Ryan Franklin worked the ninth for his first save in two chances, allowing a two-out hit to pinch-hitter Ryan Doumit before striking out pinch-hitter Steven Pearce. The 38-year-old closer gave up a tying home run to the Padres' Cameron Maybin with two outs in the ninth of an extra-inning loss in the season opener on Thursday.
The Pittsburgh hitters were quiet after Lyle Overbay's 421-foot, two-run homer in the first.
Neil Walker and Pedro Alvarez each went 0 for 4 and struck out three times -- Alvarez also hit into a double play. Pirates hitters fanned 11 times overall.
The Cardinals have yet to score more than three runs during a 2-3 start, the other victory coming on Jaime Garcia's four-hit shutout over the Padres on Sunday.
McClellan struck out three in the first inning yet left the mound trailing after hanging a 1-2 curveball on Overbay's shot into the Cardinals bullpen in right.
The former setup man took Wainwright's spot after going 4-0 with an 0.78 ERA in a sterling spring. He blanked the Pirates on five hits the next five innings and threw 95 pitches in his first start since he was with Class A Palm Beach in 2007.
Miguel Batista (1-0) followed McClellan and gave up a hit and a walk in 1 2-3 innings in his first appearance of the season.
James McDonald didn't allow a hit the first three innings but was gone after 4 2-3 innings when Pujols' sacrifice fly to medium center tied it. Allen Craig had an RBI single in the fourth and the Cardinals totaled four hits and a walk their last nine at-bats against McDonald.
NOTES: McClellan led the Cardinals with 68 appearances last year, none longer than two innings. ... The Cardinals hit into two double plays for a five-game total of nine. ... Backup catcher Gerald Laird made his first start for St. Louis and was 0 for 4 with a popup, two strikeouts and a double-play ball.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)