Bucs miss shot with bases full in ninth

PITTSBURGH – Shelby Miller won his fourth straight start and Trevor Rosenthal induced a bases-loaded double play to end the game as the St. Louis Cardinals held off the Pittsburgh Pirates 6-5 on Sunday night.

Allen Craig and Yadier Molina had two hits each, including RBI singles in a four-run first inning. Craig went 5-for-11 in the three-game series after entering with a .202 batting average. Molina was 0-for-12 in his previous four games.

Miller (5-2) walked four and allowed four hits in 5 1-3 innings, but held the Pirates to just two runs – which came on Jordy Mercer’s first home run of the season in the fourth inning.

Rosenthal gave up a run in the ninth that made it 5-4, but got Mercer to hit into a 1-2-3 double play to end it.

Charlie Morton (0-5) was charged with only one earned run of the four he allowed over six innings but remained winless since Sept. 2, a span of 14 starts.

Pittsburgh’s Pedro Alvarez had three hits.

Rosenthal survived an RBI single by Andrew McCutchen to notch his 10th save as the Cardinals avoided their first three-game losing streak of the season.

Jon Jay also has two hits for St. Louis as did Tony Sanchez for the Pirates, whose season-best four-game winning streak ended.

Mark Ellis also had an RBI single in the first inning for St. Louis and Craig added a sacrifice fly.

Mercer cut the Pirates’ deficit in half to 4-2 in the fourth inning when he a two-run home run to left field, his first of the season.

Alvarez pulled Pittsburgh within a run in the seventh with an RBI single.

However, the Cardinals answered with a two-run eighth inning to move in front 6-3 as Peter Bourjos singled in a run and Jay scored on a wild pitch by Bryan Morris.

The Pirates scored in the bottom of the eighth on Sanchez’s groundout.

NOTES: Andrew McCutchen returned to the lineup after missing Saturday’s game with soreness in his left ankle. … Pittsburgh LF Starling Marte was not in the lineup because of lower back tightness, which caused him to leave Saturday night’s game in the fourth inning. … Pirates RF Travis Snider batted leadoff after missing the previous two games while serving a suspension from Major League Baseball for his actions April 20 in a benches-clearing brawl with the Milwaukee Brewers. … Bourjos, who started the previous four games, did not start because of a cut on his right wrist that came as a result of getting spiked Saturday night while attempting to break up a double play. However, he entered the game in the game in the seventh inning as a defensive replacement. … The Cardinals host the Chicago Cubs on Monday night in the opener of a four-game series with LHP Tyler Lyons (0-2, 3.45) facing LHP Travis Wood (2-4, 4.75). … The Pirates are off Monday then begin a three-game series Tuesday night at Milwaukee.