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St. Louis Cardinals hold off Pittsburgh Pirates in slugfest

By
Shelly Anderson, The Sports Xchange
St. Louis Cardinals connects for a single in the first inning against the Atlanta Braves at Busch Stadium in St. Louis on August 13, 2017. Atlanta defeated St. Louis 6-3. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI
St. Louis Cardinals connects for a single in the first inning against the Atlanta Braves at Busch Stadium in St. Louis on August 13, 2017. Atlanta defeated St. Louis 6-3. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo

PITTSBURGH -- Tommy Pham, Matt Carpenter and Paul DeJong hit home runs, three of St. Louis' 13 hits Friday night, as the Cardinals built an eight-run lead and held on to beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 11-10 at PNC Park.

St. Louis (63-59) won its second in a row and 10th in the past 12 to remain 1 1/2 games behind the Chicago Cubs in the National League Central.

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Pittsburgh (58-64) lost its sixth straight and fell five games behind the Cardinals and 6 1/2 behind Chicago.

For the second night in a row in the divisional series, runners and runs abounded.

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St. Louis scored in each of the first four innings for an 8-2 lead.

The Cardinals tacked on two more in the sixth and another in the eighth before Pittsburgh's Max Moroff hit the sixth homer of the game, a two-run, 420-foot shot in the eighth that bounced into the Allegheny River.

Josh Bell and Elias Diaz each added an RBI double later in the eighth to make it 11-8.

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The Pirates added two more in the ninth before Seung Hwan Oh struck out Diaz to end it. Oh picked up his 19th save.

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Cardinals starter Carlos Martinez (10-9) pitched seven innings and got stronger as he went. He allowed two early runs on homers but settled in to give up three runs on six hits, with four strikeouts and two walks.

Pittsburgh starter Trevor Williams (5-6) had gone at least six innings in four of previous five games, but he lasted just two batters into the fourth, giving up eight runs on seven hits -- three of them homers -- with three strikeouts and two walks.

Pham's 16th homer -- a one-out shot to right after Carpenter struck out in the first inning -- gave him homers in consecutive at-bats and St. Louis a 1-0 lead. Pham led off the ninth Thursday with a homer.

The Pirates' start mirrored that of the Cardinals. Starling Marte struck out and Josh Harrison followed with a homer to right for a 1-1 tie. It was Harrison's 14th homer, setting a single-season career high, and, as with Pham, gave him blasts in consecutive games.

The Cardinals added some distance in the second on Greg Garcia's RBI single and Carpenter's 16th homer, a two-out, three-run shot to right-center field. That gave St. Louis a 5-1 lead and five runs on four hits.

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David Freese led off the bottom of the second with his ninth homer to pull Pittsburgh within 5-2.

DeJong took his turn, hitting the fifth homer of the game to lead off the third. His shot to center, his 19th homer, gave the Cardinals a 6-2 lead.

When St. Louis put runners at the corners with no outs in the fourth with Martinez up, the Pirates pulled Williams for Steven Brault. Martinez drove in a run with a sacrifice fielder's choice, and Pham drove in another on a groundout to make it 8-2.

Marte's two-out RBI triple in the fifth drew the Pirates to 8-3.

NOTES: St. Louis RHP Adam Wainwright was placed on the 10-day DL because of right elbow impingement. ... St. Louis RHP Mike Mayers was recalled from Triple-A Memphis. ... St. Louis 2B Kolten Wong was a late lineup scratch because of a hip problem. ... Pittsburgh LHP Wade LeBlanc was placed on the 10-day DL because of a left quadriceps strain. ... Pittsburgh LHP Steven Brault was recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis. ... For the second night in a row, a Pirates pitcher (Jameson Taillon and Trevor Williams) bunted into a double play.

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