PITTSBURGH -- Home runs hurt the Pirates for the second straight game as the Bucs lost, 9-1, to the Cardinals on Saturday night at PNC Park.
Kevin Correia allowed seven runs in just 4 2/3 innings, matching his second-shortest outing of the season. It was the most runs he's allowed in a game this year.
The Cardinals took control of the game with a five-run fifth inning. Skip Schumaker, Jon Jay and Albert Pujols each singled. Correia then struck out Matt Holliday, but Lance Berkman hit his 27th home run of the season, driving in Jay and Pujols. One out later, Yadier Molina hit a solo home run to left field.
The game had been close before the fifth. The Cardinals scored two in the second on RBI singles by Molina and Daniel Descalso. The Pirates responded with one run in the bottom half of the frame. Matt Diaz doubled, advanced on a wild pitch and then scored on a single by Brandon Wood.
Aided by three double plays, Cardinals starter Jaime Garcia had very little problem with the Bucs after the second. He pitched 7 1/3 innings, allowing the one run on eight hits. He struck out five.
Tony Watson pitched three scoreless innings of relief for the Pirates, allowing three hits and striking out two.
Steve Pearce made his first start since being activated from the disabled list on Friday. He played right field, where he made an impressive catch against the wall, and was 1-for-4 at the plate with a single.