Cardinals strike early, down Pirates 6-1

Cardinals strike early, down Pirates 6-1

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Yadier Molina hit his second homer of the season, Jhonny Peralta added a late two-run shot and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 6-1 Saturday night.

Molina finished 2 for 4 and his solo homer in the sixth gave the Cardinals plenty of cushion as they bounced back from a 12-2 loss on Friday night by jumping on Pittsburgh ace Francisco Liriano (0-1) early.

St. Louis used a three-run first inning to put the Pirates in an early hole then held on as Joe Kelly (1-0) wiggled his way out of trouble. The right-hander worked 5 1-3 innings, walking four and striking out four in his first start of the season.

The Pirates left 11 runners on base, including seven in the first four innings.