Lance Lynn tossed seven strong innings and scored the go-ahead run for St. Louis as the Cardinals took a 4-1 victory over the Pirates in the opener of a three-game series at PNC Park.
Lynn (3-0) allowed two hits and a run, on an inside-the-park homer from Alex Presley in the first inning, but stifled the Pirates over the next six, yielding just two hits the rest of the way while fanning four.
"He just looked in control," said St. Louis manager Mike Matheny about Lynn. "He settled down (after the first) and found his groove and didn't really look back."
Jason Motte worked around a leadoff walk in the ninth to record his third save of the year. Carlos Beltran tallied two hits and knocked in a run and Daniel Descalso added a solo shot for St. Louis, which has won five of six.
Pittsburgh's Charlie Morton (0-1) surrendered two runs -- one earned -- on four hits and three walks in a five-inning start.
Presley opened the home half of the first with a spark, launching a fly ball to deep center field. Skip Schumaker's leaping attempt sent him crashing into the wall, allowing Presley to round the bases for an inside-the-park home run.
Schumaker, who was just activated off the 15-day disabled list to replace the injured Lance Berkman, left the contest in the bottom of the opening inning. Erik Komatsu replaced Schumaker.
The Cardinals capitalized on a Pittsburgh mistake in the top of the second, as Beltran reached first on a miscue from Morton covering first base. After David Freese fanned, Yadier Molina plated Beltran with a double to left to tie the game.
Lynn helped break the stalemate in the fifth, singling through the right side to put the leadoff man on. Lynn moved to third on consecutive groundouts around a Matt Carpenter walk before scoring on Beltran's single that snuck through the right side of the infield.
St. Louis added some insurance in the ninth as Descalso launched a 2-1 offering into the seats in right field. Pinch-hitter Shane Robinson then reached on an error and came around to score on Rafael Furcal's double down the left-field line.
Saturday's matchup will feature two right-handed hurlers as Jake Westbrook toes the rubber for the Cardinals against Pittsburgh's Kevin Correia...Presley's inside-the-park home run was the Pirates' second ever at PNC Park after Jack Wilson hit the first on July 2, 2004 against Milwaukee...The Pirates committed four errors.