Pirates rough up Pineiro

Thursday, May 14, 2009
Pirates shortstop Jack Wilson leaps around Cardinals baserunner Albert Pujols to make the throw to first during Wednesday's game in Pittsburgh. (GENE PUSKAR ~ Associated Press)

St. Louis has been outscored 12-3 by the Pirates in the series.

PITTSBURGH -- Adam LaRoche was wary when baseball adopted video replay for home runs last season, convinced such a rule could only mean something bad for him.

Turns out he was right.

LaRoche became the first player to have a home run taken away by video replay, but it didn't prevent the last-place Pittsburgh Pirates from beating the St. Louis Cardinals 5-2 on Wednesday night behind Ross Ohlendorf's two-hit pitching over six innings.

"If I could have bet the day this started, I would have put a lot of money on myself to be the first," LaRoche said after his first-inning drive to right field went from a homer to a double in a couple of minutes. "That's kind of the way it goes. I can laugh those things off now, but if there's a couple of guys on and we lose by one, it's huge."

Cardinals pitcher Joel Pineiro reacts after serving up a two-run single to Pittsburgh's Nyjer Morgan during the sixth inning Wednesday in Pittsburgh. (GENE PUSKAR ~ Associated Press)

With a runner on, LaRoche's flyball struck either a railing or small protective screen above the 21-foot wall in right field -- both objects are in play -- but first base umpire Lance Barksdale signaled a home run. LaRoche stopped at second, only to be told by umpire Alfonso Marquez to head home.

Crew chief Randy Marsh, Barksdale and Marquez watched the replay while Mike Winters stayed at home plate, and Marsh quickly changed the call to a double. The Pirates did not argue, and no TV replay showed the ball reaching the seats.

"They went right to it and they saved us a run," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said.

Of the seven potential home run plays reviewed this season, this was the first to be changed. The second occurred shortly afterward, when Florida Marlins pinch-hitter Ross Gload's drive was called foul at Milwaukee.

Since video review began Aug. 28, 10 calls have been upheld and four were changed. Of the other two to be reversed, both of which occurred in September, Carlos Pena of Tampa Bay and Bengie Molina of San Francisco were given home runs.

"Before they reviewed it, I said I'm probably going back out there," LaRoche said. "I would have been shocked if it stayed. That does not surprise me one bit."

Not that the LaRoche call mattered that much as the Pirates won successive games for the first time since April 25 and 26 in San Diego, dealing Joel Pineiro (4-3) his third consecutive loss. Pineiro allowed five runs and 11 hits over six innings.

The Pirates had lost eight in a row and 12 of 13 before outscoring the Cardinals 12-3 while winning the first two games of the three-game series. The Cardinals have lost five in a row in Pittsburgh, including a 7-1 loss Tuesday.

"Our luck had been so far south the last eight or nine games, we were all due to come back around," Pirates outfielder Brandon Moss said.

Ohlendorf (4-3) mostly cruised against a Cardinals lineup that was missing Ryan Ludwick, who went on the 15-day disabled list earlier in the day with a right hamstring injury. The Cardinals already were without center fielder Rick Ankiel (shoulder), and their only run off Ohlendorf came on Skip Schumaker's homer in the fourth.

"He did a really good job of throwing strikes, keeping us off balance," Schumaker said.

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