Cardinals' bullpen blows lead in 5-3 loss to Pirates
ST. LOUIS, MO - APRIL 27: Starter A.J. Burnett #34 of the Pittsburgh Pirates pitches against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium on April 27, 2013 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images) By Dilip Vishwanat
ST. LOUIS, MO - APRIL 27: Starter Jake Westbrook #35 of the St. Louis Cardinals pitches against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Busch Stadium on April 27, 2013 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images) By Dilip Vishwanat
ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Russell Martin hit a two-run home run to highlight a four-run seventh inning and the Pittsburgh Pirates rallied to beat the St. Louis Cardinals 5-3 on Saturday.
The comeback gave A.J. Burnett (2-2) his second victory over St. Louis in 10 days. He gave up two runs and five hits in six innings. His six strikeouts expanded his team record for month of April to a league-leading 48. Burnett threw seven shutout innings in a 5-0 win over St. Louis on April 17.
St. Louis starter Jake Westbrook left after six innings with a 2-0 lead in search of his 100th career victory. He struck out six and scattered six hits to lower his ERA to 0.98 in four starts.
The Pirates had three consecutive hits against reliever Joe Kelly (0-1) to lead off the seventh and were aided by a hit by pitch and a walk to score four runs. Martin's fifth homer of the season drove in Pedro Alvarez to tie the score at 2, Andrew McCutchen walked with the bases loaded and Garrett Jones grounded in Starling Marte.
They added their fifth run on a double by Martin and a sacrifice fly from Gaby Sanchez. Martin has a hit in 10 of his past 11 games.
Pittsburgh had scored just one run in the first 15 innings of the series before their four-run outburst. The beleaguered St. Louis Cardinals bullpen had its ERA balloon to 5.62. The Cardinals have given up 39 runs after the sixth inning this season.
Jason Grilli surrendered an RBI double from Carlos Beltran in the ninth but earned his 10th save in 10 tries.
St. Louis jumped to a 2-0 lead with single runs in the first and sixth. Pete Kozma's two-out single up the middle scored Jon Jay. Matt Carpenter and Beltran singled to start the first. Carpenter scored on Matt Holliday's groundout.
Westbrook's performance also lowered the Cardinals starters ERA to a league-best 2.08.
He allowed a runner to reach second base once, though the Pirates went in order just one time.
Westbrook has struggled throughout his career against the Pirates, entering with a 1-7 record and a 5.28 ERA. It could have been worse. He gave up four runs and six hits in two innings April 16 before rained forced the game's postponement.
NOTES: Pittsburgh INF Neil Walker took six stitches on his right index finger after Cardinals SS Pete Kozma stepped on him while turning a double play Friday. He's listed day-to-day but is likely out for at least a week. ... With a single in the third, Pittsburgh OF Jose Tabata has now hit safely in 20 of his 22 career games at Busch Stadium. ... Jay stole his first base of the year in the fourth. He led the team with 19 in 2012. ... Westbrook entered the game with eight strikeouts. ... Cardinals starters have all 14 of the team's victories. ... Cardinals INF Daniel Descalso went 0-2 with two walks and is hitless in his past 15 at-bats.