Cardinals Win Opener, Push Pirates Away From Wild Card

PITTSBURGH, PA - AUGUST 27: Rafael Furcal #15 of the St. Louis Cardinals makes a throw to first base against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the game on August 27, 2012 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Cardinals defeated the Pirates 4-3. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

The St. Louis Cardinals beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 4-3 on Monday night in Game 1 of an important series.

The St. Louis Cardinals (71-57) earned a 4-3 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates (68-60) Monday night in the first of a three-game series with playoff implications.

Matt Holliday hit the go-ahead home run off A.J. Burnett to lead off the sixth inning, his 24th of the season. It broke a 2-2 tie.

The Cardinals' Kyle Lohse (14-2) pitched five innings, gave up two runs and five hits with three strikeouts and no walks. He hasn't lost a start since mid-June.

Burnett (15-5) surrendered four runs (three earned) and seven hits and struck out three in 5 ⅔ innings.

Pittsburgh had a 2-0 lead heading into the fifth after an Andrew McCutchen RBI-single and a Josh Harrison sac fly in the fourth. St. Louis tied it in the fifth inning with a Skip Schumaker RBI double and an RBI single from Lohse.

A Yadier Molina sac fly made it 4-2 after Holliday's home run. Clint Barmes' RBI double in the seventh brought the Pirates within one run, but they would not get any closer.

St. Louis currently holds the second NL wild card spot, while the Pirates are three games back. Game 2 is set for Tuesday, with the first pitch at PNC Park scheduled for 7:05 p.m. ET.

Be sure to head over to Viva El Birdos for more Cardinals coverage, and check out Bucs Dugout for more on the Pirates. Also visit Baseball Nation for even more news and analysis from around the league.

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