ST. LOUIS — After they lost a crucial appeal, things quickly unraveled for the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Adam Wainwright became the majors’ first five-game winner and shortstop Jhonny Peralta ended the St. Louis Cardinals’ 366 at-bat homerless drought with a pair of long balls to beat the Pirates 7-0 on Sunday.
Peralta’s second homer came two at-bats after the Pirates thought they’d turned an inning-ending double play in the sixth.
“You saw how it changed the complexion of the game,” manager Clint Hurdle said. “We finish that double play right there, three runs don’t get on the board.”
Make that four runs, after the appeal was denied and replays indicated first baseman Ike Davis’ foot was off the bag while stretching for an off-line relay from second baseman Neil Walker.
Allen Craig’s bloop RBI single preceded Peralta’s three-run homer that put the Cardinals up by six. Edinson Volquez (1-2) would have been out of the inning with no damage and the Pirates down by two runs, but instead gave up six runs in 5 2-3 innings.
“He was out,” Volquez said. “It’s tough when you pitch against a guy like Wainwright. We got an opportunity to stay in the game longer, but it’s bad.”
Hurdle contended that if umpires had ruled a double play on Yadier Molina’s grounder to third, the Cardinals would have had no success challenging, either.
“I think if he gets called out and Mike (Matheny) challenges, he stays out,” Hurdle said. “He gets called safe, he stays safe. That part of it, we’re doing the best with what we’ve got.”
Davis was prone on the dirt stretching for the relay and was adamant replay got it wrong, contending he had contact with the base for “at least a half-second” after gloving the relay.
“I knew I was on the bag. You can look at the video yourself and you would think I was on the bag, too,” Davis said. “But I guess it wasn’t a close enough view.”
Craig’s single made it 2-0, his first RBI in eight games, before Peralta connected.
The Pirates have dropped five of their past six games. They have a day off before opening a two-game series at Baltimore on Tuesday.
Matt Holliday, Craig and Molina also had RBIs for the Cardinals, who totaled five runs in their previous four games. St. Louis took two of three from the Pirates, shutting them out in both wins.
Peralta also homered leading off the fifth, the Cardinals’ first since Craig on April 16 at Milwaukee. He has six homers, the most ever by a Cardinals shortstop in the opening month of the season and one more than Edgar Renteria hit in 2000.
Wainwright (5-1) allowed three hits in eight scoreless innings and hasn’t allowed a run in 25 consecutive innings. He stayed on turn after tweaking his right knee trying to cover first in his last start at New York and had seven strikeouts with two walks.
Wainwright’s only loss came April 6 at Pittsburgh when he allowed two runs in seven innings but lost 2-1 in another matchup with Volquez, with the win going to reliever Tony Watson.
On Sunday, Wainwright retired nine straight before hitting Jose Tabata with a breaking ball with one out in the sixth. Pedro Alvarez singled with two outs, but Wainwright got Walker on a called third strike.
Matt Adams tripled off Jeanmar Gomez in the eighth and scored on Molina’s sacrifice fly.