Series: Game 2 of 3

Pittsburgh leads 2-0 (as of 5/31)

Game 1: Friday, May 30
St. Louis3
Game 2: Saturday, May 31
St. Louis3
Game 3: Sunday, June 1
St. Louis5

Pirates 4

(24-30, 16-11 away)

Cardinals 3

(27-27, 16-11 home)

    4:05 PM ET, May 31, 2003

    Busch Stadium I, St. Louis, Missouri 

    123456789 R H E
    PIT 013000000 4 9 0
    STL 100100010 3 6 2

    W: K. Wells (2-2)

    L: W. Williams (7-1)

    S: M. Williams (15)

    Lofton goes 0-for-5, sees 26-game hit streak end

    ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Kenny Lofton's 26-game hitting streak is history. And so is Woody Williams' 10-game winning string.

    Lofton went 0-for-5 to end his streak, but the Pittsburgh Pirates handed Williams his first loss in nine months in a 4-3 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday.

    "The media made a big deal of it, but it was fun and a little mind-boggling at the same time," said Lofton, who turned 36 on Saturday. "I hit the ball hard, it just didn't fall in today."

    The Pirates have won five of six, including the first two games of the three-game series. The Cardinals fell to 2-4 on a 13-game homestand, their longest of the season, despite the return of center fielder and cleanup hitter Jim Edmonds _ who missed two games with bruised ribs.

    The defending NL Central champions are 27-27.

    "It makes no difference what the rest of the league is doing," manager Tony La Russa said. "If we're at .500, that's not good enough.

    "But I'm satisfied with the way we're going about it and I think we'll finish well over .500 and in contention."

    Williams (7-1) failed in his bid to become the NL's first eight-game winner, allowing four runs -- two earned -- in eight innings. He lost for the first time in 15 starts since Aug. 29, 2002 at Cincinnati, although his ERA remained at an NL-leading 2.19.

    "I didn't pitch the way I should have pitched," Williams said. "I got outpitched. It's over now."

    Lofton struck out, reached on an error, flied out twice and lined out to the mound in the ninth to end the streak that was tied with Boston's Nomar Garciaparra for the longest in the major leagues this season. Garciaparra's streak ended on Wednesday.

    Lofton batted .406 (43-106) during the streak, which fell one shy of the team record set by Jimmy Williams in 1899. He lobbied just a bit after the game that a grounder that shortstop Edgar Renteria bobbled to start the third could have been ruled a hit.

    "I'm surprised he even got a glove on it," Lofton said. "It hit off the dirt and kind of handcuffed him, but that's just the way those things go."

    Kip Wells (2-2) made his first start in 15 days due to blisters on his pitching hand and worked five innings, allowing solo homers by J.D. Drew and Albert Pujols. He struck out one and walked three to win for the first time since May 1.

    "Fortunately, solo home runs usually don't beat you," Wells said.

    Drew hit his fourth homer, and second off the right-field scoreboard this season, with one out in the first. The drive was estimated at 457 feet.

    "It doesn't count but for one," Drew said. "It would be nice if you hit it off the scoreboard and you get two runs, but it doesn't work that way."

    Third baseman Scott Rolen dropped Abraham Nunez's foul pop near the Pirates' dugout with two outs in the second, and Nunez responded with an RBI double that tied it in the second. Catcher Mike Matheny was unable to handle a short-hop relay from Renteria that likely would have beaten the runner to the plate.

    Renteria's fielding error and a bunt single by Jack Wilson preceded Brian Giles' fifth homer, giving the Pirates a 4-1 lead in the third.

    Pujols hit his 15th homer, and first since May 22, leading off the fourth for the Cardinals.

    The Cardinals cut the gap to a run in the eighth against three Pirates relievers, including Pujols' RBI double off Brian Boehringer. But Drew was caught at the plate trying to tie it on the hit, and Renteria flied out to the right-field wall with the bases loaded off Boehringer for the final out.

    Giles cut the ball off before it could get to the wall in left-center, setting up the play on Drew.

    "It's just bang-bang," Drew said. "I watched it on tape and it's almost if you don't slide you probably run through there safe and if you do, you're out."

    Mike Williams worked the ninth for his 15th save in 18 opportunities.

    Game notes
    Edmonds was 0-for-2 with two walks, one of them intentional. He wasn't in the original lineup card but was inserted after taking batting practice and making throws without pain. ... Aramis Ramirez singled in the fifth to extend his hitting streak to a career-best 14 games. ... Joe Garagiola, with fellow Hall of Famer Yogi Berra at his side, threw out the first pitch. The two grew up on The Hill in St. Louis. ... The Pirates have won six of their last eight on the road. ... The last Cardinals pitcher to start 8-0 was Garrett Stephenson in 2000. ... Pujols made a nice catch retreating to the wall in left on Craig Wilson's drive in the eighth, recovering after getting turned around. ... The Cardinals are 2-14 in one-run decisions.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press