ST. LOUIS (AP) — Life without All-Star catcher Yadier Molina did not start out well for the St. Louis Cardinals.
The Pittsburgh Pirates, behind a six-hit complete-game performance from Edinson Volquez, beat the Cardinals 9-1 to avoid being swept in the four-game series.
Molina tore a ligament in his right thumb in Wednesday's 5-2 win. He will undergo surgery on Friday and is expected to be out 8 to 12 weeks.
The Cardinals, who outscored the Pirates 12-6 in winning the first three games of the series, were flat from the outset.
"We just didn't look right from the beginning," manager Mike Matheny said. "It was a tough night for our club in general."
The team got the news about Molina three hours before the game.
"He's a hard guy to replace," infielder Matt Carpenter said. "But we're not going to hang our heads. We've got to move forward."
Matheny said his club is capable of overcoming the loss.
"It's not the first time that we've gotten kicked a little bit," he said. "Injuries are just part of the game. We've got to play through it."
Volquez won win his fourth straight start for the first time in his 10-year career.
Neil Walker, Josh Harrison, Russell Martin and Andrew McCutchen all drove in two runs for Pittsburgh.
Volquez (8-6) has a 4-0 record and a 0.90 ERA in his last four starts. He struck out five and walked two in recording the second complete-game win of his career.
He allowed just one hit as a member of the San Diego Padres in beating Houston 1-0 on July 19, 2012.
"He used his breaking ball effectively and he got outs when he needed them," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "It's about throwing strikes and changing speeds. It was a real good effort."
Volquez seemed to get better as the game went along. He needed a season-high 114 pitches to give the Pirates their first complete game of the season.
"He had command of all of his pitches," Carpenter said. "We just weren't able to get anything going."
Volquez allowed the leadoff batter to reach base in each of the first four innings. He then gave up just two hits over the final five.
"When he gets past the fifth, he smells the finish," Hurdle said.