Pirates blank Cards
Pittsburgh, PA – Brandon Cumpton spun seven scoreless innings to help lift the Pittsburgh Pirates past the St. Louis Cardinals, 6-0, in the nightcap of a doubleheader of a pivotal five-game set at PNC Park.
Cumpton (1-1) scattered just three hits and a walk while fanning five for the Pirates, who now have a 1 1/2 game lead in the NL Central.
"Were not satisfied, we have a lot of baseball to play," said Pirates manager Clint Hurdle. "That's a good team over there and they'll be back here on Wednesday ready to play."
Andrew McCuthen collected two hits, one being a two-run homer, while driving in a pair and scoring twice. Gaby Sanchez, Jordy Mercer and Tony Sanchez each added an RBI.
Tyler Lyons (2-3) surrendered four runs -- three earned -- on eight hits and a walk in six innings of work to absorb the loss.
The Cardinals are currently in the midst of a season-high six-game losing skid, where they have managed to score just six runs in that span.
"This is when we have a chance to find out who we are as a team," said St. Louis manager Mike Matheny. "There are moments through the season where you go through stretches like this. Either you rise to the occasion, or you fall out of it."
The Pirates beat the Cardinals 2-1 in 11 innings in the opener of the twinbill.
Jose Tabata reached on a fielding error by third baseman David Freese in the second. Josh Harrison singled to left to put runners on the corners with one out. Tabata scored when a curveball got by catcher Yadier Molina and it was ruled a passed ball.
Starling Marte laced a stand-up triple to begin the fifth frame and crossed the plate when Jordy Mercer singled the next pitch to left. McCutchen stroked his 15th home run of the year with a little help from left fielder Matt Holliday. The ball went off Holliday's glove into the seats to give the Bucco's a four-run cushion.
McCutchen had a leadoff base hit in the seventh, followed by a Gaby Sanchez RBI double to center. A Tony Sanchez sac fly to left made it 6-0 Pirates.
The Cardinals' best opportunity to put a run on the board came the first inning Cumpton wasn't on the mound. John Jay stood on second with one out in the eighth but two consecutive groundouts ended the frame.
Tony Sanchez's sac fly in the seventh was his first career major league RBI ... Pittsburgh finished a mire 1-for-14 with runners in scoring position, while St. Louis went 0-for-5 ... The Pirates have 14 shutouts, tied with the Indians for most in the Majors.