Paulino's bases-loaded sac lifts Pirates over Cards

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Salomon Torres' first save of the year was far
from routine.

The Pittsburgh Pirates' reliever escaped a bases-loaded, one-out
jam in the eighth inning then got Albert Pujols to ground out with
a man on for the final out in a 1-0 victory over the St. Louis
Cardinals on Saturday night. He worked the final two innings
because closer Mike Gonzalez is on the 15-day disabled list with an
elbow injury.

"Those two innings, it has to be the best performance of this
year for myself," Torres said. "I felt in total control of all my
pitches and I knew exactly what I wanted to do, and I just executed

Torres was one of three pitchers combining on an eight-hitter
and Ronny Paulino hit a bases-loaded sacrifice fly in the seventh.
The Pirates prevailed in an improbable low-scoring game involving
starters with ERAs of 7.88 (Chacon) and 5.92 (Jeff Weaver) and have
won four of five.

The Pirates have the worst road record in the major leagues at
18-50, but have won three of four on the road. They're also 24-22
since the All-Star break after laboring 30 games below .500 in the
first half.

"When I saw Salomon come in for the eighth I had a good feeling
that the game was over," reliever Matt Capps said. "It's that
mentality that we've got right now."

Weaver (2-4) threw seven solid innings and Aaron Miles had three
hits for the Cardinals, who are 6-2 with one game to go on a
nine-game homestand. The Cardinals stranded 12 runners and were
0-for-11 with runners in scoring position.

"This one is really tough to take because of the chances,"
manager Tony La Russa said. "We just couldn't break through."

St. Louis loaded the bases with one out in the eighth against
Salomon Torres, making his league-leading 81st appearance. But
Torres struck out Ronnie Belliard and pinch hitter Preston Wilson.

Miles got an infield hit with one out in the eighth, but he got
no further as Pujols grounded out to short to end the game. Torres
struck out three in two innings, working around three hits and a

Chacon bounced back from a tough start against the Astros and
allowed four hits in five innings. The Cardinals stranded eight
runners against Chacon, who had three strikeouts and four walks,
leaving two on in the first, second, third and fifth.

Capps (6-1) allowed one hit with a strikeout in two innings.
Zach Duke has the only complete game among the Pirates' seven

Weaver, who had been 0-2 with an 8.14 ERA at home, gave up one
run on five hits in seven innings with a walk and four strikeouts.
The walk to Ryan Doumit, which loaded the bases in the seventh with
one out, ended up hurting him.

Weaver allowed only two runners to make it to scoring position
before the seventh. Freddy Sanchez led off with a single, Xavier
Nady got an infield hit on a dribbler down the third-base line with
one out and Doumit walked before Paulino's sacrifice fly put the
Pirates ahead.

The drive to deep right-center had a chance to drop in but right
fielder Chris Duncan tracked it down.

"I don't know how he could have pitched much better," La Russa
said. "He pitched outstanding."

Game notes
Chris Duffy had been 14-for-14 in steal attempts, 11 of
them coming in August, before getting thrown out at second by
Yadier Molina in the sixth. ... Scott Spiezio, who got a spot start
because he was 2-for-3 with a pair of home runs against Chacon,
went 0-for-3 against the right-hander. ... Weaver is 4-2 for his
career against the Pirates with a 2.30 ERA. ... Jason Bay struck
out all four at-bats and has fanned seven times in eight at-bats
the first two games of the series. ... Torres has six career saves,
including three last year. ... Weaver is 5-14 overall, tying him
for the most losses in the major leagues. ... The Cardinals have
been shut out six times, the last two times by the Pirates. The
Pirates won 7-0 Aug. 13 in Pittsburgh.