drove in three runs and
extended his hitting streak to a career-high 23 games as the Pirates rallied from a four-run deficit to edge the St. Louis Cardinals, 8-7, and salvage the finale of their three-game series.
The Pirates overcame three-run homers by
and took advantage of a costly error by first baseman
to score four times in the sixth inning.
To make matters worse for the Cardinals, they may have lost second baseman
due to a hamstring injury.
After Pittsburgh loaded the bases in the sixth, Lofton hit a ground ball off Kline to Martinez, who made a wild throw home, allowing a pair of runs to score. Ramirez followed with a two-run single off
(1-2) later in the inning to tie the game, 6-6.
"I think we know I'm really getting to the point where I want to start punching people in the face," Kline said. "Other than that, it's all been good."
Lofton followed one out later with a run-scoring double to left field.
"It was a big hit at the end. All I was trying to do was put the ball in play," Lofton said. "A lot of good things can happen when you put the ball in play."
The Pirates had squandered a five-run lead in Friday's loss to the Cardinals but bounced back to defeat the Cardinals for just the fifth time in 20 all-time meetings with St. Louis at PNC Park.
"It was something good to show we could come back," said Lofton, whose hitting streak is the longest by a Pirate since
hit in 23 straight in 1974. "We kept picking away and we got the big hit."
Vina left in the fifth after straining his right hamstring while trying to beat out a grounder. There was no immediate word on how long he would be sidelined.
"He really gets our offense going," Cardinals manager
Tony La Russa
said. "There's no justice in this game."
made his first start of the season for Pittsburgh as a late replacement for
, who was scratched due to a blister.
Meadows gave the Pirates five innings, but he allowed three-run homers to Edmonds in the first and Rolen in the fifth that gave the Cardinals a 6-2 lead. Meadows allowed eight hits, walked one and struck out one.
"I just left two pitches over the plate and they hit it out," said Meadows, who found out he would be pitching about three hours before the game. "Even if I didn't start, I'd be one of the first guys up, so I was ready. I'm sure they were happy with the five innings, but not the amount of runs."
Edmonds homered in his third straight game and has 11 this season.
While Meadows struggled, so did St. Louis starter
, who allowed four runs - two earned - and six hits in five innings. Stephenson walked four and struck out two, leaving after allowing the first two batters to reach in the sixth.
Kline relieved and walked pinch hitter
before Lofton hit the pivotal ground ball to Martinez. But La Russa found most of the fault with his starting pitcher.
"Garrett needs to get the ball where he's aiming it," La Russa said. "He's been all over the place in the last two or three starts and he's having trouble correcting the problem."
The Pirates scored twice in the third off Stephenson on an RBI single by Ramirez and a run-scoring double by Simon.