ST. LOUIS (Ticker) --
's clutch hitting enabled the St. Louis Cardinals to avoid a couple of dubious accomplishments.
Renteria snapped a tie with a two-out single in the seventh inning as the Cardinals ended a three-game losing streak with a 5-4 victory over the
The Cardinals lost the first two games of the series and were on the verge of getting swept by the Pirates for the first time since 1997. But St. Louis used its patience at the plate and Renteria's propensity for timely hits to avoid falling below .500 on June 1 for the first time in six years.
"I'm sure they told Beimel to be careful with Albert and they had to go through Jim," St. Louis manager
Tony La Russa
said. "Rolen showed great patience."
Torres got two quick strikes on Renteria, who hit a grounder in the hole on the left side to score Edmonds and Pujols.
"That one was tough. He got me with two strikes and I'm looking for a good pitch to hit and tried to put the ball in play," Renteria said. "I feel comfortable in that situation because I don't try too hard."
"Our guy was out there trying to be careful, not to make a mistake pitch in that situation," Pirates manager
said. "We had the guy 0-2 and left him a curveball over the plate. The real good hitters, when you do that, are going to take advantage."
La Russa was not surprised by Renteria's latest big hit.
"He's so good in that situation, he's deadly," he said. "For Edgar to find a hole like that, it just shows you how clutch he is."
"I had a bad feeling in that seventh inning, when we walked three guys in a row," McClendon said. "It usually comes back to haunt you. Renteria is a professional hitter and he came up big for them."
surrendered a solo homer to
in the ninth before giving way to
, who retired the only two batters he faced to notch his fifth save.
St. Louis reliever
(2-4) recorded the victory after tossing 1 2/3 scoreless innings.
Pittsburgh lost for just the second time in seven games and completed a 4-2 road trip against Chicago and St. Louis.
got little help from his defense, which made two errors in the second inning. Rolen reached on an error by second baseman
and Renteria walked.
Pittsburgh rallied to take the lead on
's three-run homer off St. Louis starter
with one out in the third. St. Louis forged a 3-3 tie when J.D. Drew opened the bottom half with his sixth homer of the season.
Pirates third baseman
extended his hitting streak to a career high 15 games with a two-out single in the eighth inning.