PIRATES Cards launch 5 home runs
St. Louis has won 13 out of 14 recent games against Pittsburgh.
ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Former Pirate Jeff Suppan took a two-hitter into the ninth inning and the St. Louis Cardinals backed him with five home runs in an 8-1 victory over Pittsburgh on Friday night.
Jim Edmonds hit two two-run homers and So Taguchi also connected twice to help the Cardinals end a three-game losing streak that matched their longest of the season.
St. Louis has beaten the Pirates 13 times in the last 14 meetings dating to last year.
Suppan (7-6) allowed a bloop single by Jack Wilson leading off the third and then retired 15 batters before Humberto Cota singled leading off the eighth.
He was lifted with one out in the ninth after hitting a batter and giving up three hits, including Freddy Sanchez's RBI single.
Wearing long sleeves despite 94-degree heat, Suppan struck out five and walked one, giving the Cardinals' bullpen a much-needed breather.
In the previous three games, starters Jason Marquis, Mark Mulder and Matt Morris had totaled 9 1/3 innings and allowed 23 runs -- 16 earned -- and 26 hits. During the losing streak, the Cardinals were outscored 29-17.
Suppan is 6-1 for his career against the Pirates, for whom he pitched in 2003. His shutout on July 28, 2003, against the Cardinals was a deciding factor in St. Louis signing him as a free agent the following off-season.
Taguchi's third homer with one out in the fifth was the Cardinals' first hit off Kip Wells (5-7). Left fielder Jason Bay missed by inches on a leaping attempt at the wall on Taguchi's first homer since May 2.
Edmonds' two-run, opposite-field shot in the sixth made it 3-0. It was his 12th homer of the year and first since June 7. Yadier Molina hit his third homer leading off the seventh for a 4-0 lead.
Edmonds' two-run shot to right off Mike Johnston in the eighth made it 6-0 and gave him 22 career multihomer games. Taguchi got the first multihomer game of his career with another two-run shot off Johnston later in the inning.
Wells lasted seven innings, giving up four runs and six hits. He's 0-4 with an 8.31 ERA in his last four road starts since allowing one earned run in 7 1/3 innings May 24 in St. Louis, and 2-5 for his career against the Cardinals.
The Pirates haven't scored a run in Wells' last three starts, getting outscored 25-1.
The start of the game was delayed 32 minutes because a fire at an industrial plant closed downtown highways for a few hours.
Umpire Brian Knight replaced Rick Reed, who left Thursday's game in the fifth after he was struck in the head by a foul ball. Knight had been at second base.
A paid crowd of 48,184 was the Cardinals' 10th sellout in 11 games.
Cardinals starters lead the majors with 41 victories, three more than the Chicago White Sox.
The Cardinals have lost three straight twice this season, also dropping three in a row to San Diego in May.
Suppan's double in the fifth was the second extra-base hit of his career. He's 5-for-24 this year after going 4-for-57 last season.