Pittsburgh Pirates top St. Louis Cardinals, end skid

By Shelly Anderson, The Sports Xchange  |  Aug. 19, 2017 at 9:51 PM
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PITTSBURGH -- Starling Marte was 3-for-5 with one of three Pittsburgh homers and Chad Kuhl didn't let a long rain delay bother him Saturday as the Pirates broke a six-game losing streak with a 6-4 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals at PNC Park.

The Pirates (59-64) remained 6 1/2 games behind the first-place Chicago Cubs in the National League Central and four back of the Cardinals.

St. Louis (63-60), which had won two in a row and 10 of 13, dropped to 2 1/2 games behind the Cubs.

The series concludes Sunday night in Williamsport, Pa., in the MLB Little League Classic.

Pittsburgh pounded out 12 hits and rode a five-run second inning.

Both starters remained in the game after a rain delay of 1:56 in the top of the second, with distinctly different results.

St. Louis right-hander Michael Wacha (9-6) got rocked after he pitched a perfect first and was out of the game after four innings. He gave up five runs on seven hits, including two homers, with three strikeouts and two walks. It was not only his second loss in a row, but also only his second career loss in the month of August.

Kuhl (6-8) retired 11 of the 13 batters he faced after the delay, with only one hit. Overall, he gave up one run on three hits, with six strikeouts and one walk, in five innings.

He had been 0-2 in four career starts against St. Louis.

Felipe Rivero gave up a run in the ninth but picked up his 13th save.

As the rain started before the delay, the Cardinals took a 1-0 lead against Kuhl in the second. Jose Martinez led off with a double to the right-field corner and scored on Kolten Wong's single to right.

Pittsburgh responded with a five-run second that included two-run homers by Adam Frazier and Marte and a run on Sean Rodriguez's double-play grounder. Kuhl doubled and scored in the inning, which ended with a 5-1 lead.

Marte's homer was his third of the season and first since he returned July 18 from an 80-game suspension for performance-enhancing drugs.

Jose Osuna hit his first career pinch-hit homer, a shot to right that was his sixth overall this season, to extend the Pirates lead to 6-1 leading off the sixth.

St. Louis' Paul DeJong hit his 20th homer, a two-out, two-run shot to center, to close it to 6-3 in the eighth, and Jose Martinez blasted a homer to center to lead off the ninth for the final score.

NOTES: St. Louis CF Dexter Fowler was out of the starting lineup because of back discomfort. ... St. Louis RHP Josh Lucas' contract was purchased from Triple-A Memphis. He made his major league debut, giving up a run on four hits in two innings. ... St. Louis RHP Mike Mayers was optioned to Triple-A Memphis. ... Pittsburgh RHP Dovydas Neverauskas was recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis and pitched a perfect inning. ... Pittsburgh LHP Steven Brault was optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis.

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