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Preview | Matchup | Lineup | Log | Wrap | Box
W:M.Wacha(1-0) L:C.Morton(0-1) S:T.Rosenthal (1)
HR: STL- M.Holliday (1) PIT- P.Alvarez (3)
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National League Game Summary - St. Louis at Pittsburgh



(Monday, October 7th)

Final Score: St. Louis 2, Pittsburgh 1

Pittsburgh, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - The St. Louis Cardinals continued an old habit of staying alive with their backs to the wall, thanks to Michael Wacha coming up huge in the biggest game of his young career.

The rookie took a no-hitter into the eighth in a stellar 7 1/3-inning, nine- strikeout performance that led the Cardinals to a season-saving 2-1 decision over the Pittsburgh Pirates in Game 4 of the National League Division Series.

"We did a lot of gushing about him before we even got him out there today, and I think everybody sees why," said Cardinals manager Mike Matheny. "I don't know if you can put a kid in a tougher spot. He came out and just made pitches all day long. He's just got a knack of getting up there and [being] very business-like getting the job done."

Wacha (1-0), who came within an out of no-hitting Washington in his final regular-season start on Sept. 24, had his bid broken up by Pedro Alvarez's solo homer that cut Pittsburgh's deficit to 2-1. The 2012 first-round pick then put the tying run aboard by walking Russell Martin, but the Cardinals got big efforts from two other kid pitchers to take the series back to Busch Stadium for Wednesday's deciding Game 5.

Fellow rookie Carlos Martinez protected the one-run edge in the eighth before 23-year-old Trevor Rosenthal closed it out with a scoreless ninth.

The Cardinals, who received an MLB-best 36 victories from rookie hurlers en route to the NL Central title, are now 7-1 in postseason elimination games over the past three years.

"I think you take high-talent and high-character people that are motivated and support each other, and they don't give up. That's a tough combination," said Matheny of his team. "It's just an honor to watch them do the thing day-in and day-out."

St. Louis survived despite managing just three hits, but one was a homer from Matt Holliday off Pittsburgh starter Charlie Morton that broke a scoreless deadlock in the top of the sixth. Holliday had a single earlier in the contest.

Morton (0-1) lasted 5 2/3 innings, surrendering all three hits and walking four.

"Charlie pitched extremely well," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle remarked. "I think the cowboys say, 'he drew a tough bull today'."

Both starting pitchers were in top form during the game's early stages, with Holliday's first-inning single the only hit by either side over the opening four frames.

St. Louis put forth the first threat of the afternoon in the fifth, as David Freese drew a one-out walk and Pete Kozma followed with a single before both advanced a base on Wacha's successful sacrifice. However, Morton was able to strike out Matt Carpenter -- a .388 hitter with runners in scoring position during the regular season -- on a curveball to keep the game scoreless.

The Cardinals did break through an inning later. After Morton walked Carlos Beltran on four pitches to begin the sixth, Holliday hammered a 2-2 pitch well over the center-field wall to stake St. Louis to a 2-0 lead.

Pittsburgh hadn't even had a baserunner to that point, with Wacha setting down 15 consecutive batters until issuing a leadoff walk to Martin in the bottom of the sixth. Martin remained at first as the young righty racked up two more strikeouts to keep his no-hit bid intact.

"I was just trying to keep going out there and throw up zeros," said Wacha. "That's my job is to go out there and try to win ballgames and keep our team in the game."

Wacha breezed through the heart of the Pirates' lineup in the seventh, needing just eight pitches to retire the side in order, then fanned Marlon Byrd to start Pittsburgh's half of the eighth.

He fell behind the dangerous Alvarez, however, and grooved a low fastball into the NL co-home run champion's power zone that cleared the bleachers and landed onto the riverwalk behind right center.

Another walk to Martin ended Wacha's afternoon and worked the PNC Park crowd into a further frenzy, but the excitement was dampened when Jose Tabata swung through a Martinez fastball on a hit-and-run attempt and pinch-runner Josh Harrison was gunned down by Yadier Molina at second. Martinez struck out Tabata two pitches later to end the inning.

Pittsburgh again had the tying run aboard when Rosenthal walked Neil Walker with two out in the ninth, but Rosenthal got MVP candidate Andrew McCutchen to pop up to second to extend the series.

Game Notes

Morton fell to 0-7 in his last eight starts against St. Louis, with the Pirates dropping each of those contests ... Wacha held the Pirates to two hits over seven scoreless innings in a 9-2 Cardinals' win at Busch Stadium on Sept. 8 ... Alvarez's homer was his third of the series, and he's driven in at least one run in all four games ... St. Louis improved to 5-1 all-time in NLDS Game 4's ... Holliday is 10-for-28 with two homers and seven RBI lifetime against Morton ... Walker finished 0-for-3 and is hitless in 16 at-bats in the series ... The Cardinals will send out Game 1 winner Adam Wainwright in Wednesday's matchup, with Hurdle tabbing rookie Gerrit Cole for the start.

10/08 01:46:17 ET

TV
  • NCAA: Division II Championship: Indiana (Pa.) vs. Florida Southern

    Today at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NCAAT: Louisville v. Michigan State

    Tomorrow at 2:20 am on WRAL-TV

  • NCAAT: Duke v. Gonzaga

    Tomorrow at 5:05 pm on WRAL-TV

Scoreboard
Local
Final
WAS 110
CHA 107
Final
LOU 75
NCSU 65
Final
DUKE 63
UTAH 57
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
ATL
 
7:00pm Tonight
CAR
NJD
 
Final
ATL 4
BOS 2
Final
STL 5
NYM 4
Final
PHI 0
NYY 10
Final
MIN 2
PIT 4
Final
WAS 1
STL 1
4th
BAL 0
TAM 0
 
Final
TOR 4
DET 1
Final
CHC 6
CWS 3
Final
OAK 7
TEX 6
Final
ANA 2
ARI 7
Final
ARI 3
CLE 2
6:05pm Friday
HOU 0
MIA 0
 
Final
KAN 5
SEA 1
Final
SDP 7
COL 5
Final
CIN 6
MIL 8
Final
LOS 4
SFG 8
1:05pm Today
NYY
BAL
 
1:05pm Today
TAM
BOS
 
1:05pm Today
MIA
HOU
 
1:05pm Today
MIN
PHI
 
1:05pm Today
DET
STL
 
1:05pm Today
PIT
TOR
 
1:07pm Today
TOR
ATL
 
1:10pm Today
NYM
WAS
 
4:05pm Today
CIN
CHC
 
4:05pm Today
MIL
CLE
 
4:05pm Today
CHC
COL
 
4:05pm Today
CWS
OAK
 
4:05pm Today
TEX
SDP
 
4:05pm Today
SEA
SFG
 
4:10pm Today
ARI
KAN
 
4:10pm Today
ANA
LOS
 
Final
WAS 110
CHA 107
Final
ORL 97
DET 111
Final
PHI 98
LAC 119
Final
NYK 92
BOS 96
Final
BRK 106
CLE 98
Final
TOR 94
LAL 83
Final
ATL 99
MIA 86
Final
MEM 84
GSW 107
Final
HOU 120
MIN 110
Final
NOP 102
SAC 88
Final
SAN 94
DAL 76
Final
DEN 107
UTA 91
Final
PHO 81
POR 87
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
ATL
 
8:00pm Tonight
CHI
NYK
 
8:30pm Tonight
MIL
GSW
 
9:00pm Tonight
UTA
OKC
 
10:00pm Tonight
POR
DEN
 
Final
GONZ 74
UCLA 62
Final
LOU 75
NCSU 65
Final
DUKE 63
UTAH 57
Final
NARZ 74
KSU 73
Final
OKLA 58
MSU 62
6:09pm Tonight
WISC
ARZ
 
7:30pm Tonight
YALE
CAN
 
8:49pm Tonight
KENT
ND
 
Final
MIN 4
CAL 2
Final
CHI 2
CLB 5
Final
EDM 4
DAL 0
12:30pm Today
WAS
NAS
 
1:00pm Today
NYI
ANA
 
1:00pm Today
PIT
ARI
 
1:00pm Today
BOS
NYR
 
1:00pm Today
PHI
SJS
 
2:00pm Today
DET
TAM
 
7:00pm Tonight
MON
FLA
 
7:00pm Tonight
CAR
NJD
 
7:00pm Tonight
TOR
OTT
 
8:00pm Tonight
STL
CLB
 
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
LOS
 
9:00pm Tonight
COL
BUF
 
10:00pm Tonight
VAN
DAL