St. Louis Cardinals defeat Pittsburgh Pirates, 5-3

PITTSBURGH - In only their 24th game of the season, the Cardinals reached the first of manager Tony La Russa's numerical benchmarks.

That level was plus 10, with the Cardinals having achieved a 17-7 won-lost record by May 1.

The Cardinals then lost their next three, and it took them a total of 88 games to get back to that plus-10 perch. On Saturday night, after five failed attempts previously to go 10 games over .500, the Cardinals finally scaled the height.

The Card...