ST. LOUIS (Ticker) -- The St. Louis Cardinals had no answer for the streaking
Suppan tossed a seven-hitter and tied a career high by winning his fifth straight decision as the
beat the Cardinals, 3-0, and earned a split of the four-game series.
smacked a two-run homer and
added an RBI single for the Pirates, who lost Sunday, 4-3, after giving up three runs with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning.
Suppan (10-7) struck out five batters and walked one as he tossed his 14th career complete game and fifth shutout. He has thrown three complete games and two shutouts this season, all during his current winning streak, which matches his 5-0 run during the first 12 games of the 1997 season for Boston.
"I was really just thinking pitch-by-pitch, inning-by-inning, and not how it was going to turn out," Suppan said. "An offense like (the Cardinals') can score runs in a heart beat. I really didn't know what to expect and I was just going out there and trying to be effective and just stay out there as long as I could."
"He was outstanding," Pirates manager
said. "He certainly hit his spots on a consistent basis. He made the pitches that he wanted to make. This guy competes - he's our guy. We feel like when he's out there that we're going to win that day."
Stairs led off the second inning with a double against
(6-7) before Sanders belted his 0-2 offering 449 feet to the "Big Mac Land" section of the left field stands for his 18th homer of the season.
"It was a slider over the plate," Sanders said. "I was able to put the good head on it and it traveled. It definitely was the pitch I was looking for."
"I threw a 2-0 pitch to Sanders, a slider that he hit out of the park," Tomko said. "You just have chalk it up that he won that battle. I didn't get it in the right spot but anytime you throw a 2-0 slider, even if it's not in a great spot, you don't expect him to hit the ball like that."
The Pirates added an insurance run in the fifth when
led off with a walk, advanced to second on a sacrifice by
and scored on a two-out single to right field by Stairs.
The Cardinals twice had two runners on, in the first and fourth frames, but could not break through against Suppan, who tied his career in wins.
"Every time we had chances, he just made outstanding pitches," St. Louis manager
Tony La Russa
said. "He just carved us up. It was very effective, high-quality work."
"He threw strike one," said Cardinals third baseman
, who went 1-for-4. "He was ahead in the count all day and if you're ahead in the count you get guys swinging, get easy outs and minimize pitches. "He threw a good ballgame. He moved the ball in and out and changed speeds."
Tomko gave up three runs and eight hits in seven innings. He is 0-4 in 10 games at Busch Stadium this season and is winless in 15 career games here.
"Except for a couple of breaking ball mistakes early where they got two runs, he gave us a solid chance to win," La Russa said.