ATLANTA (AP) -
is usually content just letting his defense make plays.
He can get a strikeout when he needs it, too.
Pineiro won again for St. Louis, equaling the best start of his career, and
drove in a pair of runs as the Cardinals defeated the light-hitting
3-2 Monday night.
Pineiro (4-0) went 6 2-3 innings, allowing seven hits and a pair of runs while walking none. He also won his first four decisions
for Seattle in 2001.
''You trust your defense,'' the right-hander said. ''That's why I throw that sinker no matter what time in the count, so they
can hit it at somebody.''
He got 12 of his 20 outs on grounders, with shortstop
making a couple of especially nifty plays. Ryan stopped one on his knees, popping up to throw out
, and pulled off a double play with a simultaneous throw as he was stepping on second.
''You get that ball on the ground, good things are going to happen,'' Pineiro said.
He waited until his final pitch to get his first strikeout, and it was a big one. Pineiro whiffed
with the potential tying run at second base in the seventh, then headed to the showers.
struck out Ross to end the threat.
''He did well keeping the ball down,'' Atlanta's
said of Pineiro. ''He's not going to strike a lot of guys out, but he keeps it low and gets ground balls.''
escaped a bases-loaded jam in the eighth, and
worked a perfect ninth for his sixth save in as many chances.
Ankiel had a pair of two-out, run-scoring singles, one in the second inning to push the Cardinals to a 2-0 lead and another
in the seventh for a 3-1 edge.
Pineiro also had a hand in the offense, drawing a walk from
and coming around to score what proved to be a crucial run on Ankiel's second clutch hit.
''Now that I think of it, it was a key at-bat,'' Pineiro said.
St. Louis (14-6) assured itself of keeping at least a share of the NL's best record, after coming into the night tied with
Los Angeles Dodgers
. The Cardinals won for the sixth time in seven games.
The Braves have struggled to produce offense with a lineup that's missing
, both on the disabled list. Since starting the season 5-1, they have scored three runs or fewer in nine of their last 13
The fans of Atlanta are hardly impressed. The crowd of 16,379 was the fourth turnout of less than 20,000 in seven games at
Turner Field this season.
''We're going 1-2-3 way too many times,'' Francoeur said. ''We're not putting any pressure on the other team to make pitches.''
No one has been hurt more than
(2-2). He's 0-2 over his last three starts, despite giving up just three runs in 20 1-3 innings. He bounced back from a shaky
start to go six solid innings against the Cardinals, allowing two runs and six hits.
''I just try to give my team a chance to win,'' Jurrjens said. ''That's all I can control.''
, taking over the cleanup spot for McCann, had two doubles and three hits but flied out on a high pitch to end the eighth
with the bases full.
Notes: St. Louis C
extended his hitting streak to 11 games with a single in the third. ... Jurrjens threw 68 pitches over the first three innings
but needed only 31 to get through the next three. ... The Braves said McCann will report to Myrtle Beach on Tuesday to test
out a new set of contact lenses in a couple of Class-A rehab games. The catcher went on the DL with blurred vision, and spent
much of Monday working with an eye specialist.