ST. LOUIS (AP) — Andrew McCutchen hit a tie-breaking, two-run homer in the 10th inning and the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the St. Louis Cardinals 6-3 on Saturday.
McCutchen hit a 3-2 pitch from Jordan Hicks (0-1) over the left field wall for his third home run of the season in leading off the inning. McCutchen worked a 3-0 count and thought he had walked on a slider that home plate umpire Will Little called a strike.
“I still had the mindset of he’s still trying to pitch around me,” McCutchen said. “He got the next pitch and then I fouled off a changeup and then in my mind I said if he throws me another slider I’m going to be ready to hit it. That’s what he did and it’s pretty much history from there.”
David Bednar (2-0) pitched a scoreless ninth inning, and Dauri Moreta worked around a leadoff walk in the 10th to earn his first save of the season and guarantee the Pirates at least a split of the four-game series.
“It matters a lot especially with a team like the Cardinals,” McCutchen said. “This is no pushover, and they’re a good team. For us to be able to come in and do what we’ve done thus far, it’s been great.”
Roansy Contreras allowed two runs on six hits in becoming the fifth straight Pirates’ starter to go sixth innings.
“It’s a tremendous boost when you get guys that go out and are commanding the zone.” Pirates manager Derek Shelton said, “It’s a big step for Ro because early in the game he gave up the two runs but he gave up on a jam shot double and then he gave a swinging bunt up and settled back down.”
Rodolfo Castro doubled off Ryan Helsley to score Connor Joe and tie the game 3-3 in the top of the eighth inning. Paul Goldschmidt had walked with the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh to put the Cardinals ahead.
Cardinals starter Steven Matz allowed two runs on three hits in 5 2/3 innings while walking five batters and striking out six.
“The walks hurt me,” Matz said. “It got my pitch count up, but other than that I think I did do some things well. I was moving my fastball around. Especially, I was happy with that, but just the walks is kind of uncharacteristic so I’ve got to clean that up.
Matz walked Joe with the bases loaded in the top of the third inning to tie the game 2-all.
Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol was ejected prior to the bottom of the third inning by Little after voicing his displeasure from the dugout over the last two balls called on Joe. It was Marmol’s first ejection of the season and fourth of his career.
Alec Burleson drove in Brendan Donovan with a ground-rule double to right field in the bottom of the first inning to tie the game 1-all and extend his hitting streak to a career-best 10 games.
Ke’Bryan Hayes opened the game with his first home run of the season and first career leadoff homer.
Pirates: Placed 1B Ji Man Choi on the 10-day injured list retroactive to Friday with a left Achiles tendon strain and recalled infielder Tucupita Marcano from Triple-A Indianapolis.
Cardinals: Activated OF Lars Nootbaar (left thumb contusion) from the 10-day injured list and optioned IF/OF Juan Yepez to Triple-A Memphis.
Pittsburgh sends RHP Mitch Keller (1-0, 3.57 ERA) to the mound to face Cardinals RHP Miles Mikolas (0-1, 10.05 ERA) in Sunday’s series finale.