Series: Game 1 of 4

St. Louis leads 1-0 (as of 5/31)

Game 1: Monday, May 31
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Game 2: Tuesday, June 1
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Game 3: Wednesday, June 2
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Game 4: Thursday, June 3
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Cardinals 8

(27-23, 16-9 away)

Pirates 3

(23-24, 9-15 home)

    4:35 PM ET, May 31, 2004

    PNC Park, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 

    123456789 R H E
    STL 014012000 8 13 0
    PIT 200001000 3 10 2

    W: J. Marquis (4-4)

    L: K. Benson (4-4)

    Rolen hits 13th homer of season

    PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Scott Rolen is proud of his numbers.

    Rolen hit a tiebreaking, three-run homer and increased his major league-leading RBI total to 53, leading the St. Louis Cardinals over the Pittsburgh Pirates 8-3 Monday.

    "If you're into stats, runs scored and RBI are the most relevant stats, I think," Rolen said.

    With two on and the score 2-all in the third, Rolen connected off Kris Benson (4-4) for his 13th home run this season. Rolen went 3-for-4 and is batting .419 (13-for-31) during an eight-game hitting streak.

    "There isn't anybody in baseball playing better than Scott Rolen," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said.

    Benson wanted to put a 1-2 fastball inside but left it over the plate.

    "It was probably one of the worst pitches of my career," he said. "I felt pretty good coming into the game, but I made a bad pitch, and everything fell apart from there."

    St. Louis has won three of four on a seven-game trip, improving to 16-9 on the road. Pittsburgh dropped to 9-15 at home.

    Jason Marquis (4-4) allowed three runs and 10 hits in seven-plus innings and also went 3-for-4 with a double and two runs.

    Coming in, Marquis had a career average of .096 (9-for-94). He said he hadn't gotten three hits in a game since high school.

    "I try to pride myself on all parts of my game," Marquis said. "I was a good hitter in high school."

    Marquis won for the third time in four starts. He was hit hard in his previous start against the Pirates.

    "When he overthrows, the ball gets up," La Russa said. "Today, his sinker was good, and he got a lot of breaking balls down. He was outstanding."

    Albert Pujols had a two-run double for the Cardinals, and Tony Womack homered.

    Benson gave up eight runs -- six earned -- and 11 hits in 5 2-3 innings, dropping to 0-2 with a 7.48 ERA in four home starts. Benson was booed when he was removed from the game after Pujols' double made it 8-2 in the sixth.

    "It was a very unfortunate outing," Pirates manager Lloyd McClendon said. "We were looking for some innings. But he's a tough kid. He'll bounce back."

    Benson is the Pirates' second-highest paid player with a $6.1 million salary and might get traded.

    "I have to get my stuff together," he said.

    Craig Wilson, who went 4-for-4 to tie his career high for hits, had given the Pirates a 2-0 lead in the first with his team-leading 12th homer.

    John Mabry hit an RBI grounder in the second, and doubles by Marquis and Edgar Renteria tied the score in the third.

    Jason Bay hit an RBI triple in the sixth on a ball misplayed by center fielder Jim Edmonds.

    Jason Kendall extended his hitting streak to 17 games, third-longest in the NL this season, with a double in the seventh.

    Game notes

    The Cardinals have won more games than any visiting team at PNC Park, going 19-6. ... Womack's home run was only his 32nd in 1,062 games. ... Pirates 1B Daryle Ward was involved in two unusual plays. He hit into a rare 6-5-3 double play in the third, after the Cardinals shifted their defense against the left-handed pull hitter. In the fifth, Ward fielded Edmonds' grounder, waited to see whether the runner on third would go for home and made no attempt to touch first base.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press