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Updated: Sunday, June 1, 2003 7:20 PM EDT
MLB RECAP
Pittsburgh Pirates
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R H E
4 8 2
St. Louis Cardinals
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R H E
5 7 1
W Kline (2-4)
L Beimel (1-1)
S Fassero (3)
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ST LOUIS 5, PITTSBURGH 4
 

ST. LOUIS (Ticker) -- Edgar Renteria '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 Pittsburgh Pirates .

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.

The game was tied, 3-3, when Pittsburgh reliever Joe Beimel (1-1) issued consecutive two-out walks to Albert Pujols and Jim Edmonds .

Salomon Torres entered and walked Scott Rolen on four pitches to load the bases.

"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 Lloyd McClendon 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."

Cardinals reliever Esteban Yan surrendered a solo homer to Jack Wilson in the ninth before giving way to Jeff Fassero , who retired the only two batters he faced to notch his fifth save.

St. Louis reliever Steve Kline (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.

Pirates starter Josh Fogg got little help from his defense, which made two errors in the second inning. Rolen reached on an error by second baseman Abraham Nunez and Renteria walked.

Tino Martinez singled to plate Rolen and Renteria scored on a throwing error by right fielder Craig Wilson for a 2-0 edge.

Pittsburgh rallied to take the lead on Jack Wilson 's three-run homer off St. Louis starter Brett Tomko 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 Aramis Ramirez extended his hitting streak to a career high 15 games with a two-out single in the eighth inning.


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