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Jan 22, 2013 1:55am
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ST. Womens Joe Flacco Jersey . LOUIS —The St.
Louis Cardinals needed a lift. Lucky for them, Yadier Molina was ready to return
to the lineup. Molina had three hits and two RBIs, leading the Cardinals to a
big 5-4 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Saturday. St. Louis bounced back
from Friday nights 2-1 loss in the series opener and pulled within a game of
Pittsburgh for the second NL wild-card spot. Jaime Garcia is expected to come
off the disabled list to start Sundays series finale against Pirates
right-hander Jeff Karstens. Molina also scored a run after missing the previous
three games with a sore back. The All-Star catcher hit a tiebreaking two-run
double off Erik Bedard (7-13) in the fifth inning to give the Cardinals a 5-3
lead. “Not just his presence but his production,” St. Louis manager Mike Matheny
said. “Its great to have Yadi back.” The Cardinals had scored just two runs in
their previous two games. Batting sixth, Molina went 3 for 4. “It feels so
good,” said Molina, who indicated his back was not bothering him after the game.
“I was waiting for this moment the last three days. Its good to be back, its
good to get the win.” Pittsburgh loaded the bases with no outs in the ninth
against Jason Motte but only managed one run on Andrew McCutchens infield out.
Garrett Jones struck out swinging and Josh Harrison bounced into a fielders
choice to end the game. Motte fell behind 3-0 to Jones before coming back to get
him. Jones took a healthy cut at the 3-0 pitch, which was fine with Pittsburgh
manager Clint Hurdle. “Hes your cleanup hitter and arguably as hot as anyone we
have on the team,” Hurdle said. “Were going to play the game to win it. Were not
going to be afraid to make a mistake or play on our heels.” Barret Browning
(1-2) pitched a scoreless inning for his first major league win. Motte earned
his 28th save in 33 chances after blowing his previous opportunity Thursday
against Arizona. Motte was not dwelling on the past when he loaded the bases
Saturday. “I dont really think about the other day,” Motte said. “I was out
there and I was thinking I got to get this guy at the plate. Thats pretty much
exactly what I was thinking.” Shane Robinson also had a two-run double for St.
Louis, which finished with 11 hits. Rafael Furcal went 2 for 5 and scored twice,
and Allen Craig had two singles. Jordy Mercer went 2 for 4 with two RBIs for the
Pirates, who struck out 14 times. Craigs second hit put runners on the corners
with two down in the fifth. Bedard then walked David Freese before Molina came
up with his opposite-field double to right to put St. Louis in front. Cardinals
starter Lance Lynn allowed three runs and four hits in 4 1-3 innings. He struck
out eight and walked three. Mercer singled in Clint Barmes in the third and
doubled in Starling Marte in the fifth, cutting St. Louis lead to 3-2. Mercer
eventually scored the tying run on Jones sacrifice fly to right. NOTES: Garcia
is scheduled for his first start since June 5 after he was sidelined by a left
shoulder strain. ... Cardinals slugger Matt Holliday snapped an 0-for-14 slide
with a third-inning single. ... Edward Mujica pitched a scoreless seventh and
has yet to allow a run in eight appearances with the Cardinals. ... Marte left
in the sixth inning with discomfort in his right side and was being evaluated.
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