ST. LOUIS (AP) – Jedd Gyorko hit a go-ahead home run in the eighth inning, Matt Holliday provided another big boost and the St. Louis Cardinals pushed the playoff race to the final day of the regular season, holding off the Pittsburgh Pirates 4-3 Saturday.
The Cardinals began the day one game behind San Francisco for the second NL wild-card spot. The Giants later hosted the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Adam Wainwright is set to start Game No. 162 for St. Louis on Sunday. Either the Cardinals or Giants will play at the New York Mets on Wednesday night in the wild-card game.
Gyorko’s solo shot came on a 100-mph fastball from Felipe Rivero (1-6). Gyorko became the first Cardinals player to hit 30 homers in a season since Carlos Beltran in 2012.
The Cardinals tied it with a three-run sixth, highlighted by Holliday’s RBI pinch-hit single. Holliday homered on Friday night after the Cardinals said they wouldn’t pick up his $17 million option.
Kevin Siegrist (6-3) pitched a scoreless eighth. Seung Hwan Oh stranded runners at second and third for his 19th save in 22 opportunities.
Trevor Rosenthal anchored what became a bullpen game for the Cardinals when starter Michael Wacha was pulled after one inning. Rosenthal, who started the season as the closer, pitched three scoreless innings in relief, striking out four while throwing a career-high 52 pitches.
Jung Ho Kang’s three-run homer in the first off Wacha was his sixth home run against the Cardinals this season. Kang’s eight career homers and 21 RBI against St. Louis are his most against any team in the majors.
Pirates starter Chad Kuhl struck out five and gave up two runs in five-plus innings.
JUST MAKING SURE
Cardinals SS Aledmys Diaz hit a ball in the bottom of the first to the same part of the left field wall where Yadier Molina’s game-winning double went on Thursday. Originally called a ground-rule double, umpire crew chief Larry Vanover called for a review, which confirmed the call.
Pirates: Starling Marte (back) was out of the lineup and isn’t expected to play in the season finale on Sunday.
Pirates: RHP Ryan Vogelsong (3-7, 5.00 ERA) is one strikeout away from No. 900 in his career. He is 3-7 with a 6.02 ERA in 23 career appearances (12 starts) against St. Louis.
Cardinals: Wainwright (13-9, 4.67 ERA) has failed to make it through six innings in four of his last five starts, but he earned the win on four of them. He is 13-7 with a 4.26 ERA in 32 career appearances against Pittsburgh.
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