St. Louis catcher Yadier Molina didn't tag out just one runner at the plate Saturday in Pittsburgh; he got two.
Molina hung onto the ball during a second-inning collision with Ty Wigginton, and the Cardinals went on to match last year's total with their 85th win, beating the Pittsburgh Pirates 6-4.
"He won every award we can give him," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said. "The Gold Star, the King of the Hill, whatever. He'll get points all over baseball for what he did today. he hung onto the ball, stayed in the game and caught a winning game."
After Reggie Sanders' three-run homer in the second inning gave Matt Morris (14-8) an early lead, the Pirates' Jose Castillo singled to right to score Jason Bay. Wigginton, who had doubled Bay to third, also tried to score, bowling over Molina as the catcher fielded Larry Walker's one-hop throw.
"I was surprised. I didn't expect that," Molina said. "I was just watching the ball, looking for the ball, and he got me."Jim Edmonds hit his fifth homer in as many games for St. Louis, a major league-best 85-44. His two-run homer in the third inning helped the Cardinals improve to 11-5 this year against the Pirates.
DODGERS 4, METS 2: At New York, Adrian Beltre went 5-for-5 with his major league-leading 42nd home run for the Dodgers. Eric Gagne worked a perfect ninth for his 36th save in 38 chances and first since Aug. 15 at Wrigley Field. His 143rd save since 2002 broke Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley's major league record for most in a three-year span.
ASTROS 7, CUBS 6: At Chicago, Roger Clemens pitched six innings for his 324th victory and the Astros made the most of three Cubs errors. Clemens (14-4) allowed five runs and eight hits as Houston won for the 10th time in 13 games. Staked to an early 5-0 lead, Clemens tied Don Sutton and Nolan Ryan for 12th place on the career wins list.
BRAVES 9, GIANTS 3: At Atlanta, Paul Byrd (5-4) allowed one run in six innings and hit a pair of run-scoring singles off Jason Schmidt, leading the Braves past the Giants. Rafael Furcal had four hits and four RBIs for the Braves, who have won six straight. They moved a season-high 22 games over .500 and improved to 15-1-3 in their past 19 series. The two hits and two RBIs were career highs for Byrd.
PADRES 5, EXPOS 2: At Montreal, Jake Peavy won his sixth straight decision, and Phil Nevin homered and drove in three runs for San Diego. Peavy (11-3), unbeaten in nine starts since the All-Star break, held Montreal to five hits and two runs in 6 2/3 innings.
PHILLIES 4, BREWERS 3: At Philadelphia, Placido Polanco homered off Mike Adams (2-2) with one out in the ninth inning, and the Phillies extended the Milwaukee Brewers' losing streak to 10. The Phillies are 5-0 against Milwaukee this season, but have lost 12 of their last 13 against teams other than the Brewers.
DIAMONDBACKS 6, REDS 3: At Cincinnati, Casey Fossum combined with four relievers on a four-hitter, and Juan Brito singled home the go-ahead run in the seventh inning for Arizona. The Diamondbacks have won consecutive games for the first time since Aug. 3-4 against Florida.
MARLINS 4, ROCKIES 3: At Miami, Juan Encarnacion hit a two-run single in the first inning and a go-ahead, two-run homer in the eighth, extending the Rockies' losing streak to six. With Colorado leading 3-2 in the eighth, Jeff Conine singled off Steve Reed (3-4) leading off and Encarnacion followed with his 14th homer.