"I wasn't really surprised," McClendon said. "I thought I was putting my thinking cap on a little bit. After Kendall got to second on the double, I said to my base coach, 'He's going to walk Giles and Sanders.' I think in the same situation, I would probably do the same thing - let somebody else beat you, not the best hitters in the lineup."
That loaded the bases for
. Instead of letting the righthanded rookie hit, McClendon went to Simon, a veteran lefthanded hitter.
"I really was strapped on the bench as to who to use in that situation," McClendon said. "(Abraham) Nunez was my only righthanded bat, but he's my third catcher."
Borbon (0-1) threw two strikes, then tried an outside breaking ball that Simon served into left field, giving Pittsburgh its first win in the four-game series.
"I'm not sure where the pitch was, (I was) just trying to find a hole," Simon said. "As soon as I got to the plate, I knew how they were playing me. I've been pulling the ball a lot. When I hit it, I knew it had a chance."
"I just didn't do my job," Borbon said. "Getting lefthanders out is what has kept me in the majors. I'm just not making my pitches in the right location. Seeing Simon didn't change anything. I faced him before. That's how I make my living."
Afterward, La Russa explained his decision, which raised some eyebrows.
"We were not going to walk into the clubhouse with Giles or Sanders beating us," La Russa said. "Lloyd made a good move bringing in Simon. He put the ball in play. It's tough to take a loss, but I think what we couldn't do was have one of the big guys beat us."
"I'm not sure I've seen it before," Pirates first baseman
said. "This is one of the managers in baseball who does things his own way, but if you look at La Russa's record, his moves tend to work for him."
The hit made a winner of reliever
(2-3), who pitched three innings and allowed the tying run in the ninth. After coming off the mound, Tavarez could be seen shouting at his teammates in the dugout.
Wilson homered twice for the Pirates, who have combined with the Cardinals to hit 15 homers in the first three games of the series.
The Cards trailed, 2-0, but scored four runs in the sixth. Pinch hitter
bunted for a hit and scored on a double by
singled to put runners at the corners and Pujols launched his 34th homer off Pirates starter
"I tried to stay with the pitch," Pujols said. "I was looking to go to the opposite field. I just wanted to hit a sacrifice fly."
Pujols has homered in four straight games. He extended his hitting streak to 27 games, the longest in the majors this season and the longest by a Cardinal since
hit in 29 straight in 1959.
set the team record of 33 in 1922.
The Pirates got back a run in the bottom half on
's RBI double and took the lead in the bottom of the eighth on consecutive homers by Sanders and Wilson off
Meadows gave up four runs and eight hits in five-plus innings, striking out two. St. Louis starter
allowed two runs and seven hits in five innings, striking out four.
Wilson started his second career multi-homer game with his eighth homer in the second and Giles had an RBI double in the fifth.
"In the grand scheme of things, it doesn't matter what's in the boxscore," Wilson said. "What counts is if you get a W, not get an L." Second base umpire Chris Guccione left after 2 1/2 innings with heat dehydration.