Wong’s 9th-inning homer lifts Cardinals over Pirates 3-2

JUPITER, FL - FEBRUARY 20: Kolten Wong #16 of the St. Louis Cardinals poses for a portrait at Roger Dean Stadium on February 20, 2018 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

ST. LOUIS (AP) _ Kolten Wong’ led off the bottom of the ninth inning with a home run off Richard Rodriguez, giving the St. Louis Cardinals a 3-2 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Saturday.

Austin Meadows had tied the score in the top half with a home run off Bud Norris (2-1), who blew a save for the first time in 12 chances.

Wong homered on a slider from Rodriguez (1-2), his second game-ending homer this season and the fourth of his big league career. Pittsburgh lost for the sixth time in eight games and has lost four of its last five game against the Cardinals.

Marcell Ozuna homered in the second, the 100th of his career and first in 105 plate appearances at Busch Stadium with the Cardinals. Colin Moran tied the score in the fifth with his first home run since May 22, connecting on a changeup from Luke Weaver.

Tommy Pham, in a 3-for-41 slide, put the Cardinals back ahead with an RBI single in the bottom half.

Weaver needed 90 pitches to get through five innings, allowing four hits.

Pirates starter Chad Kuhl gave up four hits in six innings.

DEBUT

Austin Gomber, a 24-year-old left-hander, pitched three scoreless innings for St. Louis in his major league debut. A fourth-round draft pick in 2014, he replaced Weaver and walked Meadows, struck out Starling Marte and got Josh Bell to ground into a double play. Gomber retired his next six batters in order.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Pirates: INF Jung Ho Kang (restricted list) began a minor league assignment with Class A Bradenton on Friday and went 0 for 3 with a pair of walks and a run scored.

Cardinals: C Yadier Molina (pelvic surgery) was to start a rehab assignment at Double-A Springfield on Saturday night.

UP NEXT

Cardinals RHP Michael Wacha (6-1, 2.71 ERA) and Pirates RHP Nick Kingham (2-1, 3.75 ERA) are to start Sunday’s series finale. Wacha gave up a season-low two hits against Milwaukee on Tuesday and has held opponents to two runs or fewer in eight straight starts. Kingham made his major league debut against St. Louis on April 20, retiring his first 20 batters before Paul DeJong’s single.