ST. LOUIS -- Kolten Wong has a flair for the dramatic.
"You see guys that in those big situations tend to have the ability to get it done," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "You really don't want guys going up there thinking home run because that normally ends up a pop up on the infield, but whatever Kolten's doing I'm not going to get in the way. If he's thinking home run, keep thinking it in those situations."
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 games against the Cardinals.
It was Wong's first homer since May 18 and fourth this season.
"He's got such quick hands, he necessarily doesn't have to cheat," Matheny said. "It's when he's timed up and he timed everything up there and the ball jumped for him."
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.
"We've had some good swings," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "We've had some battles in the box, done some good base running, made some good defensive plays. I think the big picture is this team likes to fight and they like to play. They bounce back well."
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.
"I was just taking it batter by batter, just enjoying the moment, taking it in and trying to do my best," Gomber said.
Gomber gave a boost to an overworked bullpen.
"We had a few guys down that we couldn't go to today," Matheny said. "It was a tough call bringing Luke out early. Fortunately, Austin came in and really was impressive."
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.
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.
More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball
Stroman's strong outing keys Mets' 6-1 win over Rockies
Marcus Stroman pitched seven shutout innings, Amed Rosario, Brandon Nimmo and Pete Alonso all homered in the sixth to break open a scoreless game and the New York Mets beat the Colorado Rockies 6-1 Tuesday night to boost their flickering playoff hopes.
Kenrick, Corbin power Nationals to 6-2 win over Cardinals
Howie Kendrick finished a triple shy of hitting for a cycle, Patrick Corbin pitched six strong innings, and the Washington Nationals beat the St. Louis Cardinals 6-2 Tuesday night.
Cubs lose 4-2 to Gray, Reds
The Chicago Cubs were shut down by Sonny Gray and two relievers Tuesday night, falling 4-2 to the Cincinnati Reds in a loss that hurt their playoff positioning.
Verlander on cusp of 20 wins after beating Texas
Justin Verlander picked up his major league-leading 19th win and Yuli Gurriel, Alex Bregman and Yordan Alvarez all homered to help the Houston Astros to a 4-1 victory over the Texas Rangers on Tuesday night.
Astros use long ball to sink Rangers
Yordan Alvarez's 454-foot home run is the big blow as the Astros connect on three homers in a win vs. the Rangers.
Hoskins, Pirela hit 2-run HRs as Phillies stop Braves 5-4
Rhys Hoskins and Jose Pirela hit two-run homers off Dallas Keuchel in Philadelphia's five-run fourth inning and the Phillies escaped in the ninth to beat Atlanta 5-4 on Tuesday night and prevent the Braves from moving closer to clinching the NL East.