ST. LOUIS (AP) -
waited until the
were down to their last strike before coming through.
Wilson's three-run double on an 0-2 fastball capped a four-run ninth inning off hard-throwing
, leading Pittsburgh to an opening 6-4 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals.
''That first one, he blew by me pretty easily,'' Wilson said. ''Then I kind of stayed back and it felt pretty good. Just try
to get it out there, put it in play, and then you have a chance.''
In a game played in 41-degree chill,
broke a 2-2 tie with a leadoff homer in the eighth off
added a sacrifice fly off
(1-0) for a 4-2 lead.
led off the ninth with a double off Motte, who won a three-way battle for the closer's job in spring training.
singled in a run with two outs, pinch-hitter
doubled LaRoche to third and
was hit by a pitch before Wilson's drive to left-center.
Motte, a former catcher who moved to the mound in 2006, had a 1.46 ERA and five saves in spring training after debuting last
season with an 0.82 ERA in 11 games with the Cardinals.
His fastball has been timed in the high 90s but when Motte got behind in the count, it wasn't nearly as effective. He refused
to blame the weather or nerves from playing in front of a sellout crowd of 45,832.
''It's just one of those things,'' Motte said. ''You go out there and have a bad outing, you can come back out there tomorrow
and be the hero. You've just got to put it all behind you.''
St. Louis didn't warm up anyone until after Wilson's hit.
Wilson had been 0-for-4 with two strikeouts and a popup. He batted .170 in spring training with a homer and three RBIs in
''He's got a new approach up there and I don't think he felt that comfortable in spring training,'' manager
said. ''Hopefully, this will help him to relax.''
pitched the ninth for the save, sealing the third straight opening-day win for the Pirates, who have finished last in the
NL Central in three of the last four seasons.
had three hits and two RBIs as the Pirates overcame three errors.
was 3-for-4 with an intentional walk for the Cardinals. He is batting .419 hitter (13-for-31) with two homers, four doubles
and 10 RBIs in nine openers.
made his first official opening day start, a year after he pitched in an opener that was wiped out by rain after three innings.
He allowed two runs and four hits in 5 1-3 innings, and he combined to strike out (seven) or walk (five) nearly half his 25
batters. While the strikeouts were one shy of his career best, he matched his high for walks, set in his final start last
season. He even walked Pirates starter
on four pitches.
After Pittsburgh stranded five runners in the first two innings, St. Louis went ahead in the third on run-scoring singles
and Ludwick following the first of LaRoche's two errors at third.
Wainwright walked his last two hitters, and Morgan hit a two-run single off
. Maholm, a career .139 hitter coming in, walked against
in the sixth.
''It's not what I wanted, that's for sure,'' Wainwright said. ''I wanted to carry my team deeper into the game, and I didn't.''
Maholm had a team-high nine wins last year, the lowest total for a Pirates staff leader since 1981, and moved one slot ahead
of '08 opening day starter
and two slots ahead of
('07) in the rotation.
Notes: Cardinals Hall of Famers
, 88, and
, 86, tag-teamed the first pitch. Musial rode a cart to the mound and flipped the ball to Schoendienst, who walked halfway
to the plate and made an underhand throw. ... There was a moment of silence before the game for longtime instructors George
, and former scouting director Fred McAlister, all of whom died in the past year. ... The Pirates opened on the road for the
fourth straight season. ... Greene entered with 15 career at-bats as the cleanup hitter, all in 2007 with the Padres. He batted
.408 with 17 RBIs in spring training.