Six runs in first inning propel Cardinals

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Darryl Kile finally got some run support.

The St. Louis Cardinals had a six-run first inning, highlighted
by Edgar Renteria's three-run double, and Kile pitched seven strong
innings to beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 9-4 Saturday night.

The inning nearly doubled the 3.2 runs the Cardinals had
averaged for Kile coming into the game.

"It was good to get Darryl some runs early,'' St. Louis manager
Tony La Russa said. "We haven't done that a whole lot for him in
the last couple of years. We haven't scored for him.''

Kile allowed six hits and two walks while striking out two. The
Cardinals have won Kile's last four starts, in which Kile has
allowed five runs in 26 innings.

"This game was won by our offense. They made things easy for
me,'' Kile said. "I was off a little bit. I got away with a few
mistakes that those guys normally hit.

Bronson Arroyo lasted just three innings. He gave up seven hits
and six runs while walking two. The six runs were the most for
Arroyo (0-1) since he allowed six in a start last June 20 against

"I got my butt kicked, period,'' Arroyo said. "I can't think
of a worse way to get off to a start, facing nine guys in the

The Cardinals have won 17 of their last 22 games. St. Louis'
six-run first was its biggest opening inning this season.

The Pirates fell to a season-low five games under .500 for the
fourth time this season.

"We haven't had many games like tonight,'' Pittsburgh manager
Lloyd McClendon said. Playing a club of the Cardinals' caliber,
we're still a little short.''

Miguel Cairo and Placido Polanco opened the first with singles
and J.D. Drew doubled off the left-field fence, scoring Cairo.

Drew went 3-for-3, including two doubles, with two walks.

"I've got some God-given talent,'' Drew said. "It's a matter
of trusting in it. It's starting to come around. It's nice for us
to give Darryl some breathing room. He was able to cruise around

An intentional walk to Albert Pujols loaded the bases. Eduardo
Perez snapped a 0-for-14 skid when he drove in Polanco with his
first hit since April 27.

Renteria then cleared the bases with a double to right center.
He took third on a throw home meant to get Perez.

"Edgar had a big blow there for us,'' La Russa said.

McClendon agreed.

"He (Arroyo) got some pitches up and they took advantage,''
McClendon said. "Things just kind of snowballed on him and it
happened pretty quick.''

Mike Matheny laid down a perfect squeeze bunt, scoring Renteria
for the sixth run.

"He's so fundamentally sound,'' La Russa said. "It was a tough
pitch, too.''

Matheny said he was not surprised the squeeze was put on.

"I was prepared. I try to think along with the manager,''
Matheny said. "I was anticipating it. Obviously, it's a surprise
play. It was a slider. I was able to get it down.''

Pittsburgh got a run back in the third on an RBI single by Brian
Giles, and three more back on Craig Wilson's three-run shot in the

St. Louis made it 7-1 in the fourth when Polanco scored from
third on a passed ball.

The Cardinals tacked on another run in the sixth for an 8-1
lead. Drew singled, went to third on a throwing error by reliever
Joe Beimel and scored on a fielder's choice. St. Louis added a run
in the seventh when Cairo doubled home Matheny.

Game notes
St. Louis 2B Fernando Vina did not play because of the flu
... CF Jim Edmonds did not play because of a sprained right wrist
he suffered in the second inning of Friday night's game. Edmonds
likely won't play again until Tuesday at the earliest ... Perez
started in place of Tino Martinez at first base. Martinez is in a
0-for-11 skid and is hitting just .218 ... The game was the first
Saturday night home game this season for St. Louis ... Actor and
St. Louis native John Goodman read Lou Gehrig's historic farewell
speech before the game. It was part of an effort to publicize
efforts to find a cure for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, the
disease that killed Gehrig ... St. Louis Blues star Chris Pronger watched the game in the owner's seats.