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MLB: Cardinals edge Pirates 2-1 to force Game 5
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Pittsburgh • Michael Wacha heard the chants. Then again, when 40,000 people clad in black scream your name relentlessly for the better part of three hours, it's kind of hard to miss.

The goal was to rattle the St. Louis rookie, remind him that 22-year-old pitchers aren't built to withstand the pressure of an elimination game.

One problem. Wacha doesn't really do rattled. He doesn't do pressure, either. The louder PNC Park grew, the more unhittable Wacha became.

"I kind of like it," Wacha said. "It kind of gives me adrenaline. I kind of use it in my favor."

And the Pittsburgh Pirates — not to mention anyone else he might face in the postseason — "kind of" need to get used to it.

Wacha took a no-hit bid into the eighth inning and the Cardinals showed off their October poise, edging the Pirates 2-1 Monday to force a winner-take-all Game 5 in the NL division series on Wednesday. St. Louis is 7-1 over the last three years with its season on the line.

"I think you take high talent and high character people that are motivated and support each other, and they don't give up," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "That's a tough combination."

One the Pirates are still trying to master. Pedro Alvarez hit his third home run of the series, connecting with one out in the eighth for Pittsburgh's only hit in Game 4. It wasn't enough for the Pirates to advance to the NL championship series for the first time in 21 years.

"I guess that's why we play five," star center fielder Andrew McCutchen said. "We'll be ready for the fifth one."

The Pirates weren't quite ready for the fourth one, not with the way Wacha was dealing. He walked two and struck out nine before giving way to the bullpen in the eighth.

Matt Holliday's two-run homer off Charlie Morton in the sixth was all the offense required on a day the Cardinals tossed the first one-hitter in the club's lengthy postseason history.

Trevor Rosenthal worked around a two-out walk in the ninth, retiring McCutchen on a popup to shallow center field for his first postseason save. —

Cardinals 2, Pirates 1

St. Louis AB R H BI BB SO Avg.

M.Carpenter 2b 4 0 0 0 0 3 .067

Beltran rf 2 1 0 0 2 0 .286

Holliday lf 4 1 2 2 0 0 .250

Ma.Adams 1b 4 0 0 0 0 2 .267

Y.Molina c 4 0 0 0 0 1 .267

Jay cf 3 0 0 0 1 1 .154

Freese 3b 3 0 0 0 1 0 .154

Rosenthal p 0 0 0 0 0 0 —-

Kozma ss 3 0 1 0 0 0 .500

Wacha p 2 0 0 0 0 2 .000

Ca.Martinez p 0 0 0 0 0 0 —-

Descalso 3b 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000

Totals 29 2 3 2 4 9

Pittsburgh AB R H BI BB SO Avg.

S.Marte lf 4 0 0 0 0 1 .067

N.Walker 2b 3 0 0 0 1 1 .000

McCutchen cf 4 0 0 0 0 1 .357

Morneau 1b 3 0 0 0 0 0 .250

Byrd rf 3 0 0 0 0 3 .214

P.Alvarez 3b 3 1 1 1 0 1 .385

R.Martin c 1 0 0 0 2 1 .200

1-J.Harrison pr 0 0 0 0 0 0 —-

Buck c 0 0 0 0 0 0 —-

Barmes ss 1 0 0 0 0 0 .200

a-G.Jones ph 1 0 0 0 0 1 .000

Ju.Wilson p 0 0 0 0 0 0 —-

c-Tabata ph 1 0 0 0 0 1 .000

Melancon p 0 0 0 0 0 0 —-

Morton p 1 0 0 0 0 0 .000

Mazzaro p 0 0 0 0 0 0 —-

b-Mercer ph-ss 2 0 0 0 0 1 .143

Totals 27 1 1 1 3 11

St. Louis 000 002 000 — 2 3 0

Pittsburgh 000 000 010 — 1 1 0

a-struck out for Barmes in the 6th. b-popped out for Mazzaro in the 6th. c-struck out for Ju.Wilson in the 8th.

1-ran for R.Martin in the 8th.

LOB—St. Louis 5, Pittsburgh 2. HR—Holliday (1), off Morton P.Alvarez (3), off Wacha. RBIs—Holliday 2 (2), P.Alvarez (5). CS—J.Harrison (1). S—Wacha.

Runners left in scoring position—St. Louis 2 (M.Carpenter 2). RISP—St. Louis 0 for 1 Pittsburgh 0 for 0.

St. Louis IP H R ER BB SO ERA

Wcha W, 1-0 71⁄3 1 1 1 2 9 1.23

Ca.Martinez 2⁄3 0 0 0 0 1 9.00

Rosenthal S, 1-1 1 0 0 0 1 1 0.00

Pittsburgh IP H R ER BB SO ERA

Mrton L, 0-1 52⁄3 3 2 2 4 4 3.18

Mazzaro 1⁄3 0 0 0 0 0 0.00

Ju.Wilson 2 0 0 0 0 3 0.00

Melancon 1 0 0 0 0 2 3.00

Inherited runners-scored—Ca.Martinez 1-0, Mazzaro 1-0.

Umpires—Home, Sam Holbrook First, Jim Joyce Second, Paul Nauert Third, Tony Randazzo Right, Jerry Layne Left, Wally Bell.

T—2:36. A—40,493 (38,362).

NLDS • Rookie and two relievers combine for one-hitter, force Game 5.
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