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   PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Carlos Beltran hit a go-ahead homer in the eighth, Adam Wainwright pitched seven solid innings and the St. Louis Cardinals escaped a ninth-inning jam for a 4-3 win over the Philadelphia Phillies last night.

   Philadelphia put runners at first and third with nobody out against Edward Mujica, but the fill-in closer retired three straight batters to preserve the victory.

   Yadier Molina went 3 for 4 with two RBIs for the Cardinals, who had seven hits one night after getting held to Beltran's seventh-inning double in a 5-0 loss to A.J. Burnett and the Pittsburgh Pirates.

   Wainwright (3-1) wasn't as sharp as his previous start, when he pitched a four-hitter and matched a career high with 12 strikeouts Saturday in an 8-0 win over Milwaukee, but he was still effective.

 
Published in Sports

   PITTSBURGH (AP) - A.J. Burnett took a no-hitter into the seventh inning nearly 12 years after throwing the only one of his career, pitching the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 5-0 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday night.

   Burnett (1-2) lost his bid with two outs in the seventh on Carlos Beltran's double to right-center. That was the lone hit given up by the 36-year-old right-hander in seven dominant innings.

   The only other runner he allowed came when he hit Daniel Descalso with a 2-2 pitch with one out in the sixth to end his shot at a perfect game. Burnett struck out eight to raise his season total to 35 in 24 innings.

   His bid for a no-hitter came on a night when he recorded the 2,000th strikeout of his 15-year career. Burnett reached the milestone when he caught Beltran looking to lead off the second.

 
Published in Sports

   PITTSBURGH (AP) - Jake Westbrook still hasn't figured out the Pittsburgh Pirates.

   For a day anyway, it didn't matter.

   Pittsburgh roughed up the St. Louis Cardinals veteran righthander with four first-inning runs on Tuesday, but a violent thunderstorm storm hit at the end of the second inning and the game was called following a delay of 1 hour, 24 minutes with the Pirates leading 4-2. No makeup date was immediately announced.

   Westbrook began the night looking for his 100th career win facing a team he is just 1-7 against. Those numbers didn't appear to get any better after the Pirates turned five consecutive singles into four runs.

   The cancellation Westbrook to reset his ERA to this season 0.00 and buy him some time to get a handle on the Pirates.

   "It was just one of those things that I wasn't as sharp as I needed to be," Westbrook said.

   Westbrook added it's a little strange his nemesis is a team that isn't exactly known for its firepower.

   "I wish I could put my finger on it," he said. "I think I had this conversation last year ... it's not like we don't face these guys again. I've got to do my work to figure out what I need to do to get these guys out. I've got to make better pitches."

   Manager Mike Matheny said there are no plans to alter the rotation despite the cancellation. Westbrook's next scheduled start is Sunday in Philadelphia. After that Westbrook would face the Pirates in St. Louis on April 27.

   Pittsburgh starter Jonathan Sanchez - who came in with a 12.96 ERA - allowed two runs in the first inning but retired the side in order in the second.

   Matt Holliday had an RBI single for St. Louis. Garrett Jones, Neil Walker and Pedro Alvarez all had RBI singles for Pittsburgh. None of it will count, however, and the game will be replayed in its entirety.

   The cancellation allows Pittsburgh's depleted bullpen to get a needed day of rest. The Pirates called up reliever Vin Mazzaro from Triple-A Indianapolis on Tuesday for some help after starter James McDonald managed to get through just 1 1-3 innings in a 10-6 loss to the Cardinals on Monday, forcing long relievers Justin Wilson and Bryan Morris to work a combined 6 1-3 innings.

   Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle hoped Sanchez - who made the team out of spring training as a non-roster invitee - would be able work deep enough to get to the setup guys. It hasn't been the best start to the season for the left-hander. He was roughed up by Arizona in his previous start, allowing nine runs in 3 1-3 innings.

   It looked like more of the same in the first inning Tuesday. St. Louis spring training star Shane Robinson made his first start of the season and walked on four pitches to start the game. Carlos Beltran followed with a single two pitches later and Holliday dumped Sanchez's next offering into center, bringing home Robinson.

   Allen Craig lined out to shortstop Clint Barmes, but the typically solid Barmes made his second error in as many days when his attempt to double off Beltran at second ended up in right field.

   Beltran moved to third and then scored on Yadier Molina's grounder to first.

   Westbrook began the night 2-0 with zero earned runs charged to him in 15 2-3 innings this season. It didn't take long for Pittsburgh to break through.

   Jose Tabata singled with one out, the first of five straight singles by the Pirates. A rare gaffe by the St. Louis defense helped. With runners on first and third and one out, Russell Martin hit a chopper back to the mound and Westbrook threw to second to try and start a double play. Second baseman Matt Carpenter was late covering and was charged with an error when the ball sailed into center as Walker scored.

   Both pitchers settled down in the second before the rain started falling.

   The series wraps up Wednesday when Pittsburgh RHP A.J. Burnett (0-2, 3.71 ERA) faces Shelby Miller (2-0, 1.46).

   Before the game, the Pirates held a moment of silence for victims of the Boston Marathon bombings.

 
Published in Sports

   PITTSBURGH (AP) - Jon Jay and Matt Holliday each had two hits and two RBIs as the St. Louis Cardinals jumped on the Pittsburgh Pirates early in a 10-6 victory Monday night.

   Allen Craig doubled and drove in three runs for the Cardinals, who knocked around James McDonald (1-2) with a seven-run second inning. McDonald gave up eight runs, three earned, and walked two in 1 1-3 innings, the shortest start of his career.

   Lance Lynn (2-0) labored through five innings to get the win. Lynn allowed four runs, walking three and striking out four.

   Starling Marte had three hits and Neil Walker homered for the Pirates, who had their three-game winning streak snapped.

 
Published in Sports

   ST. LOUIS (AP) - Jake Westbrook pitched a five-hit shutout and the St. Louis Cardinals backed him with four home runs yesterday in routing the Cincinnati Reds 10-0.

   Jon Jay, Carlos Beltran and Matt Adams homered in a span of seven at-bats off Homer Bailey as the Cardinals took two of three from the NL Central champions.

   Matt Carpenter added a two-run homer on a four-hit day. Adams homered for the second straight game and added an RBI double and walk.

   The Cardinals have dominated the Reds at home the last decade, losing just three of 28 series with two splits.

   Westbrook (1-1) threw his fourth career shutout, walking four and striking out three.

 

Published in Sports

   ST. LOUIS (AP) - Lance Lynn struck out 10 in six sharp innings and rookie Matt Adams connected for his first career pinch-hit homer as the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Cincinnati Reds 5-1 on Tuesday night.

   Reds starter Bronson Arroyo (1-1) retired the first 15 batters. The Cardinals broke through in the sixth, with Adams hitting a two-run homer and Allen Craig and Carlos Beltran also driving in runs.

   St. Louis bounced back nicely a day after the Reds roughed up the bullpen for nine runs in the ninth inning of a 13-4 rout that made for a sour home opener.

   Brandon Phillips had a sacrifice fly and Shin-Soo Choo had two hits for Cincinnati. The Reds were held to five hits, ending a run of four consecutive games with double-figure hit totals. Choo has four straight two-hit games.

 

Published in Sports

   Baseball fans who plan to go downtown for today's opening day festivities may find their usual route to Busch Stadium blocked.  St. Louis Police are advising revelers to leave early because of road changes and closures due to construction of Ballpark Village.  

  • 8th Street is now a two-way street between Clark and Market with two north and southbound lanes.
  • Temporary stop signs are currently in place at the intersections of 8th Street and Clark, as well as 8th Street and Walnut.
  • Walnut is now a two-way street between 8th Street and Broadway, with one westbound lane and two eastbound lanes.
  • 7th Street is no longer in existence.
   Fans are encouraged to avoid construction delays by using MetroLink.

   Pedestrians should also note that the pedestrian bridge between the Stadium West garage and the ballpark has been removed.  

   Those choosing to drive are urged to “park smart” — park in well-lit, populated areas, concealing valuables by placing them in compartments or in the vehicle’s trunk prior to arrival. The department strongly encourages citizens to leave firearms at home. Events such as baseball games are no place for firearms, as they are not allowed inside Busch Stadium and leaving them in a vehicle creates opportunity for criminals. Don’t let your legal firearm become an illegal firearm.

   Event-goers are also advised to remain aware of their surroundings and if choosing to consume alcohol, are urged to drink responsibly. Criminals often target those who appear to be most vulnerable, including those who might be intoxicated.

   There will be a significant law enforcement presence in all areas surrounding Downtown and Busch Stadium. We strongly encourage anyone who sees criminal or suspicious activity to alert a nearby officer or dial 9-1-1.

 
Published in Around Town
JUPITER, Fla. (AP) - The St. Louis Cardinals put third baseman David Freese on the 15-day disabled list yesterday because of a lower back strain, and hoped he would heal in time for the home opener April 8 against Cincinnati.

Freese joined St. Louis closer Jason Motte on the DL. The Cardinals earlier this spring lost shortstop Rafael Furcal for the year with an elbow injury and pitcher Chris Carpenter with a potential career-ending nerve injury.

Utilityman Matt Carpenter is expected to start the season at third in place of Freese, the 2011 World Series and NL championship series MVP. Freese, who will be 30 next month, hit .293 with career best of 20 homers, 79 RBIs and 144 games last season.

Carpenter played at five positions last year and added second base this spring. He batted .294 with six homers and 46 RBIs in 296 at-bats last year. Carpenter, 27, has 26 career starts in two seasons at third.

Infielder Ryan Jackson was recalled from Triple-A Memphis. Left-hander Sam Freeman was optioned to Triple-A.

In 12 spring training games, Freese was batting .267 with two home runs and five RBIs. The move was retroactive to Saturday

Jackson was optioned to the minors on March 17 after appearing in 17 spring training games. Freeman made two exhibition appearances.
Published in Sports
JUPITER, Fla. (AP) — Chris Carpenter realizes his baseball career may be over.

The 37 year old right-hander made a surprise appearance at the St. Louis Cardinals' spring-training camp yesterday and said he's still dealing with numbing and tingling sensations in his pitching hand, arm and shoulder.

Asked if he wanted to continue pitching, the former Cy Young Award winner said, "I do. I just don't think I can."
Published in Sports
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