PITTSBURGH - Matt Holliday hit a tiebreaking home run and Kyle Lohse won his eighth consecutive decision, leading the St. Louis Cardinals to a 4-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday night.
Holliday led off the sixth inning with his 24th homer, a drive to right field off A.J. Burnett that put St. Louis ahead for good at 3-2.
Lohse (14-2) pitched five innings before being lifted following a 34-minute rain delay in the top of the sixth. He allowed two runs and five hits while striking out three and walking none.
Lohse has not lost in 13 starts dating to June 15 and raised his career record against Pittsburgh to 9-2.
Burnett (15-5) gave up four runs, three earned, and seven hits in 5 2-3 innings with three strikeouts and one walk. He lost at home for just second time this season in 10 decisions and 13 starts.
Holliday, Allen Craig and Skip Schumaker all had two hits for the Cardinals as did Andrew McCutchen, Pedro Alvarez and Clint Barmes for Pittsburgh.
St. Louis, which has won six of seven, entered play with a 1 1-2 game lead over the Los Angeles Dodgers for the second NL wild-card berth. Pittsburgh fell three games behind the Cardinals with its sixth loss in seven games.
The Cardinals added a run in the sixth after Holliday's home run as Yadier Molina hit a sacrifice fly to make it 4-2.
The Pirates drew within a run in the seventh inning on Barmes' RBI double. They put runners on first and second in the eighth but closer Jason Motte came in and escaped the jam by getting Josh Harrison to hit into an inning-ending force play.
Motte retired the side in the ninth for his 31st save in 36 opportunities.
St. Louis had tied the score at 2-2 in the fifth inning as Shumaker hit a run-scoring double and came home on a single by Lohse.
The Pirates scored the game's first two runs in the fourth on RBI singles by McCutchen and Alvarez after neither team produced a hit in the first 3 1-2 innings. Alvarez has 17 RBIs against the Cardinals this season.
NOTES: Pittsburgh 2B Neil Walker was a late scratch because of lower back stiffness. Harrison, who was scheduled to start at shortstop, moved to second base and Barmes was inserted into the lineup. . St. Louis 3B David Freese did not start for a third straight game because of a bruised right wrist but he pinch-hit and struck out in the eighth inning. Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said last year's World Series MVP will likely return to the lineup Tuesday night. INF/OF Matt Carpenter started in Freese's place. . Attendance was just 16,700 for what was arguably the biggest game since PNC Park opened in 2001. Pittsburgh is in contention this late in the season for the first time since 1997and has not had a winning season since 1992. . St. Louis RHP Jake Westbrook (13-9, 3.67) will face Pirates RHP James McDonald (11-6, 3.73) on Tuesday night.