Pittsburgh, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - The St. Louis Cardinals continued an old
habit of staying alive with their backs to the wall, thanks to Michael Wacha
coming up huge in the biggest game of his young career.
The rookie took a no-hitter into the eighth in a stellar 7 1/3-inning, nine-
strikeout performance that led the Cardinals to a season-saving 2-1 decision
over the Pittsburgh Pirates in Game 4 of the National League Division Series.
Wacha (1-0), who came within an out of no-hitting Washington in his final
regular-season start on Sept. 24, had his bid broken up by Pedro Alvarez's
solo homer that cut Pittsburgh's deficit to 2-1. The 2012 first-round pick
then put the tying run aboard by walking Russell Martin, but the Cardinals got
big efforts from two other kid pitchers to take the series back to Busch
Stadium for Wednesday's deciding Game 5.
Fellow rookie Carlos Martinez protected the one-run edge in the eighth before
23-year-old Trevor Rosenthal closed it out with a scoreless ninth.
The Cardinals, who received an MLB-best 36 victories from rookie hurlers en
route to the NL Central title, are now 7-1 in postseason elimination games
over the past three years.
St. Louis survived despite managing just three hits, but one was a homer from
Matt Holliday off Pittsburgh starter Charlie Morton that broke a scoreless
deadlock in the top of the sixth. Holliday had a single earlier in the
Morton (0-1) lasted 5 2/3 innings, surrendering all three hits and walking
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