Wainwright Leads Cards Over Pirates

Saturday, September 29th 2007, 10:03 pm
By: News On 6

PITTSBURGH (AP) _ Adam Wainwright recovered from a shaky start to pitch seven sharp innings and Rick Ankiel homered and had three RBIs, leading the St. Louis Cardinals to a 7-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Saturday night.

Wainwright only retired two batters while giving up four hits and three runs in the first inning, but then allowed only two baserunners the rest of the contest. He gave up six hits, walked one and struck out four.

Ankiel, Albert Pujols and Gary Bennett each had three hits for the defending World Series champions, who have won four in a row entering their season finale Sunday.

Ronny Paulino reached base three times for Pittsburgh, which has lost three in a row and 12 of 14.

The Pirates made it 3-0 in the first on doubles by Nyjer Morgan, Adam LaRoche and Jose Bautista and an RBI single by Steve Pearce. But Wainwright (14-12) would face the minimum through the next five innings, retiring 15 of the next 16 batters.

Wainwright, who had not won a game since Sept. 1, improved to 3-1 this season against Pittsburgh.

After Tom Gorzelanny (14-10) retired the Cardinals in order in the first, St. Louis closed to 3-2 in the second on RBI singles by Ankiel and Bennett.

Ankiel's homer in the fourth, his 11th of the year, tied it at 3. David Eckstein drove in Bennett with a two-out single later in the inning, and Ankiel drove in his third run the following inning when his single scored Albert Pujols to make it 5-3.

St. Louis added a run to its lead when Aaron Miles scored from second on So Taguchi's single up the middle with two outs in the sixth.

Pirates shortstop Jack Wilson was injured on the play when he collided headfirst with second baseman Matt Kata just beyond the infield dirt behind second base.

Wilson was down on the field for more than five minutes while being tended to by the Pirates medical staff. He was sitting up and conscious as he was taken off the field on a cart, but was taken to a hospital for evaluation. No update on his condition was immediately available.

Gorzelanny, who failed in his fourth and final try to become the first Pirates starter to win 15 games in eight years, allowed six runs on 10 hits in six innings. He walked three and struck out one to finish the year with a 3.88 ERA _ the highest it has been all season.

Pujols added an RBI single that scored Taguchi in the ninth.

Notes: Cesar Izturis replaced Wilson at shortstop. ... Morgan extended his hitting streak to 10 games. ... The Pirates have hit 220 doubles this season to tie a club record set in 2000. ... St. Louis third baseman Miguel Cairo left the game in the middle of the fifth inning with tightness in his right hamstring.