Sports

Holliday, Wong power Cardinals past Pirates

Pittsburgh, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - Matt Holliday and Kolten Wong each hit three-run homers to power the St. Louis Cardinals to an 8-5 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates in the opener of a three-game set on Friday.

Wong had three hits, Jhonny Peralta provided a solo homer and Peter Bourjos scored twice for the Cardinals, who have won 10 of their last 11 games.

Starter Michael Wacha (5-0) earned the win after allowing three runs -- two earned -- on six hits over six innings of work.

"He built off his last game and really had a good feel for his curveball," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said of Wacha. "When he's able to get that downhill plane with his fastball, that's the key."

Starling Marte went 3-for-4 and drove in a run, while Neil Walker finished with two hits, an RBI and a run scored for the Pirates, who had starter Francisco Liriano (1-2) give up six runs -- five earned -- on six hits with 10 strikeouts over 6 1/3 frames.

"He paid for his mistakes," Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle said of Liriano. "The balls that he left in spots, they put the barrel on it."

Andrew McCutchen got Pittsburgh within 4-3 during the sixth as he led off the frame with a double, advanced to third on Marte's base hit and raced home on a fielder's choice to second.

St. Louis scored four runs in the seventh to provide some much-needed breathing room.

Yadier Molina hit a sharp liner to left for a leadoff double and took third on a passed ball. Two batters later, Jon Jay restored St. Louis' two-run lead with an RBI single to center, ending Liriano's outing.

Arquimedes Caminero took the mound and gave up a double to Bourjos. Wong followed with a three-run blast to right center for an 8-3 score.

Walker hit an RBI single off Matt Belisle in the home half and Josh Harrison scored from third after Corey Hart hit into a double play in the eighth, making it an 8-5 game.

Trevor Rosenthal fired a scoreless ninth for his 11th save of the season.

Gregory Polanco led off the home first with a single, moved to third on consecutive groundouts and hustled home after Cardinals third baseman Pete Kozma misplayed Marte's grounder.

Peralta quickly tied the game in the second by smoking a 2-0 fastball into the Pirates' bullpen in center for a leadoff blast.

In the third, Wacha reached base on Harrison's fielding error at third, Bourjos doubled and Holliday brought them around with a homer to center for a 4-1 lead.

The Pirates responded in the bottom half after Marte supplied a two-out RBI single.

Game Notes

Holliday has reached base safely in each of his 27 games played this season, the longest streak by a Cardinal since Albert Pujols had a 28 on-base streak in 2009 ... St. Louis third baseman Matt Carpenter out this series due to fatigue ... The Pirates went 3-for-11 with runners in scoring position and left seven on base.