Pujols goes deep, Wainwright dominates at home and Cardinals sweep Pirates with 9-1 victory
ST. LOUIS – Albert Pujols hit a two-run homer and Adam Wainwright stayed unbeaten at home with seven strong innings and the go-ahead RBI for the St. Louis Cardinals in a 9-1 win against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday.
Pujols's 25th homer capped a five-run fifth inning.
Wainwright (15-6) allowed one earned run and six hits. He struck out five and did not walk a batter, bouncing back strong from one of his worst outings of the season. He improved to 11-0 at Busch Stadium with a 1.22 ERA, both major league bests.
St. Louis broke a 1-1 tie with a fifth-inning explosion against Pittsburgh starter Zach Duke (5-10), who gave up six earned runs in five innings.
The Cardinals outscored Pittsburgh 21-2 in sweeping the three-game series. St. Louis has won 11 of 12 at home.
Wainwright retired 10 in a row at one point and lowered his ERA to 2.19, a huge improvement over his last start in New York. Wainwright allowed six runs in five innings in the loss to the Mets.
But he usually gets well against the Pirates. He improved to 7-2 against Pittsburgh.
The right-hander's two-strike bloop hit to left-center brought in Colby Rasmus for a 2-1 lead in the fifth. Aaron Miles and Jon Jay followed with run-scoring hits to push the lead to 4-1.
Pujols ripped a 3-2 pitch into the left-field bleachers for his fourth career home run in 42 at-bats against Duke. It was Pujols' 391th career home run moving him into 51st place in the career list.
Matt Holliday added a solo home run in the eighth inning off Pittsburgh reliever Steven Jackson. It was Holliday's 20th homer of the season.
Pittsburgh outfielder Jose Tabata had a first-inning single to extend his hitting streak to 12 games.
Ronny Cedeno drove in the Pirates' only run with a second-inning single that plated Lastings Milledge, who tripled to lead off the inning.
The Pirates, who have lost eight of the their last 10, have scored just two runs in their last 29 innings.
St. Louis infielder Brendan Ryan had three hits to pace the 14-hit attack. Miles added two hits and three RBI.
This was the 13th time the Pirates have been swept in a series this season.
NOTES: Wainwright had two hits and recorded the ninth multi-hit game of his career. ... RH Jake Westbrook, acquired from Cleveland as part of a three-team trade on Saturday, will make his St. Louis debut Monday against Houston's Brett Myers. To make room for Westbrook, IF Tyler Greene was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a right hand contusion. Westbrook will wear No. 35. ... IF David Freese will begin a rehab assignment Monday at Double A Springfield. Freese has been out since June 27 with ankle and toe injuries. ... The game drew a sellout crowd of 43,338, the 16th sellout of the season at Busch. ... Pittsburgh's Argenis Diaz got his first major league hit, a single off Mitchell Boggs in the ninth.