St. Louis entered the game one game behind Pittsburgh for the second wild card spot, but their offense was unable to get anything going against Pittsburgh starter James McDonald. McDonald picked up his 11th win of the season, allowing no runs over six innings while striking out seven.
The Pirates scored both of their runs in the fourth inning, although neither came on a hit. With the bases loaded and no outs, Travis Snider scored Pittsburgh's first run on a wild pitch by Jake Westbrook. After a Rafael Furcal error allowed Pittsburgh to load the bases again, Andrew McCutchen scored from third on a passed ball.
Westbrook took the loss despite only allowing one earned run over 7-2/3 innings. The Cardinals combined for only four hits, with David Freese recording two of them in a 2-4 effort.
The three-game series will continue Saturday with first pitch scheduled for 4:05 p.m. ET from Busch Stadium.