St. Louis, MO (SportsNetwork.com) - Gaby Sanchez delivered a two-run double to highlight a breakout fourth inning for Pittsburgh, and the Pirates overcame an early exit from Francisco Liriano to produce a 6-1 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals and end a four-game skid.
Liriano tossed two-plus scoreless frames before being removed due to flu-like symptoms, but Stolmy Pimentel and Jared Hughes combined for four innings of one-run ball. Pittsburgh's struggling offense finally got on track in the fourth, scoring four times on four hits that also included RBI singles from Andrew McCutchen and Jose Tabata.
"I just felt dizzy, just weak and dizzy," Liriano said of leaving the game early.
Tony Sanchez added a two-run single later on for a Pirates team that had mustered just four runs total during the losing streak and had a mere four hits in dropping Friday's opener of this three-game set by a 1-0 count.
Pimentel (2-0) received the win after permitting one run over 2 2/3 innings in relief of Liriano.
St. Louis starter Tyler Lyons (0-2) retired nine straight hitters to begin the contest and concluded his six-inning stint with eight consecutive outs, but was hit hard during a six-batter stretch in the fourth that was the difference in the game.
"With the exception of that one inning, everything went pretty well," Lyons said, referring to his undoing in the fourth. "But the one inning, that's a killer."
Lyons walked Starling Marte and allowed a single to Josh Harrison before McCutchen laced a hard single to left to break a scoreless deadlock. Gaby Sanchez then drove a fastball deep into the right-center field gap to plate both runners and extend the lead to 3-0.
After Lyons got Neil Walker to ground out, Tabata singled through a drawn-in infield to knock in Gaby Sanchez for another run.
Pimentel put himself in a jam in the fifth, walking Matt Carpenter and Jhonny Peralta in succession prior to surrendering a double to Matt Holliday that got St. Louis on the board. The right-hander came up with a big strikeout of Matt Adams, however, before Hughes entered and induced an inning-ending flyout off the bat of Yadier Molina.
The Cardinals put forth a mild threat in the seventh, with Peralta doubling off Justin Wilson with one out but he was left stranded after the Pittsburgh southpaw got both Holliday and Adams to line out.
Pittsburgh put the game out of reach courtesy of Tony Sanchez's two-out single in the ninth that brought home pinch-hitter Ike Davis and Tabata, who had reached on a walk and single, respectively, off Eric Fornataro and were moved up on a groundout.