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Updated: Saturday, May 31, 2003 12:57 AM EDT
MLB RECAP
Pittsburgh Pirates
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Stats: Batting | Pitching
R H E
7 12 0
St. Louis Cardinals
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Stats: Batting | Pitching
R H E
3 8 0
W Suppan (5-5)
L Stephenson (3-4)
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PITTSBURGH 7, ST LOUIS 3
 

ST. LOUIS (Ticker) -- Kenny Lofton extended his impressive streak while Jeff Suppan ended his dubious one.

Lofton raised his hitting streak to 26 games with two hits and Suppan snapped a personal five-game skid as the Pittsburgh Pirates posted a 7-3 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals.

With his solo home run in the third inning, Lofton extended the longest hitting streak in Pirates history since Danny O'Connell's 26-game run in 1953. Lofton, who also singled in the seventh for his 15th multi-hit contest during the streak, is one game away from tying Jimmy Williams ' club record, set in 1899.

While refusing to comment on the streak, Lofton did speak about continuing to produce at an older age.

"I don't think I have to prove anything," said Lofton, who turns 36 on Saturday. "I know what I can do. I just go out there and do what I can do, and things are working out for me."

"He's playing well," Pirates manager Lloyd McClendon said. "Tonight, he had a big knock for us. He's been great. He has done everything we thought he could do and even more. He can still play the game of baseball, that's for sure".

Suppan (5-5) posted his first win since April 22, allowing three runs and seven hits in five innings. The righthander, who improved to 1-2 lifetime against the Cardinals, struck out two without a walk.

"It's a good win," Suppan said. "The bullpen came in to bridge the gap. I wanted to go out and improve over my last game. For the most part, I felt I did that".

Aramis Ramirez went 3-for-3 for the Pirates, extending his hitting streak to a career high-tying 13 games.

Garrett Stephenson (3-4) surrendered six runs and nine hits in seven innings for his first home loss of the season. He walked three and struck out two.

"I am trying to be aggressive, throw strikes, and I am down three runs after three innings," Stephenson said. "I am trying to get my mechanics back, be more consistent. I didn't feel too bad today".

Randall Simon gave the Pirates a 2-0 lead with his fifth homer of the season in the second inning and Lofton increased the advantage with his sixth in the third.

But the Cardinals evened the game with a three-run rally in the fourth.

Edgar Renteria scored from first base on a two-base hit by Tino Martinez , who came home on Mike Matheny 's ground-rule double. Stephenson then helped his cause with an RBI single, knotting the contest at 3-3.

Craig Wilson put Pittsburgh back in front in the sixth, snapping a 1-for-18 skid with a double off the left field wall to plate Brian Giles and Ramirez.

"We had a hunch he would do something," McClendon said of Wilson. "He's been swinging the bat extremely well in (batting practice). We had a choice between him and (Rob) Mackowiak. We decided to go with Wilson tonight and it paid off for us".

Jeff Reboulet followed with a bunt that Stephenson fielded, but Jason Kendall beat the pitcher's throw home to give the Pirates a 6-3 cushion.

"The sixth inning was a blur," Stephenson said. "I don't even know what happened, I'm confused. I did the best I could".

Giles capped the scoring with an RBI ground-rule double in the ninth.


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