Wainwright, Cards down Pirates

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Updated: September 7, 2013

St. Louis, MO (Sports Network) – Adam Wainwright got back on track by firing
seven scoreless innings, with the gem sending the St. Louis Cardinals back
into first place in the NL Central via a 5-0 victory over the Pittsburgh
Pirates at Busch Stadium.

Battered for 15 runs over eight innings during consecutive losses to
Cincinnati in his last two starts, Wainwright (16-9) reclaimed his All-Star
form to move the Cardinals a half-game ahead of the Pirates in the standings
and join Colorado’s Jorge De La Rosa and Washington’s Jordan Zimmermann for
the NL lead in wins. The ace righty yielded just two hits and a pair of walks,
struck out eight, and set down the final 11 men he faced.

David Freese supplied the offense for the Cardinals with a solo homer and two
RBI, while Yadier Molina doubled twice and scored a pair of runs.

Andrew McCutchen had two of Pittsburgh’s three hits as the Pirates were handed
a third straight loss that includes a 12-8 setback in Friday’s opener of this
key three-game set.

Jeff Locke (9-5), making his first start since Aug. 27, worked five innings
for the Pirates and permitted three runs — two earned — while walking four.

Unlike his two recent outings against the Reds, Wainwright was in control all
throughout. His only danger came when McCutchen opened the fourth with a
double and Justin Morneau drew a walk, but prevented damage by inducing a
double-play grounder from Marlon Byrd prior to striking out Pedro Alvarez.

Wainwright proceeded to retire all nine batters through the next three
innings. capping his outstanding night by fanning the side in the seventh.

Locke, who was briefly sent to the minors following a string of poor starts in
August, matched Wainwright through the first three innings before encountering
some trouble in the fourth. He issued his fourth walk of the game, a leadoff
free pass to Carlos Beltran, then served up a double to Molina that put two on
with none out.

Freese brought home Beltran with a sacrifice fly to put St. Louis in front,
and Pete Kozma plated Molina with an infield single two batters later that
extended the lead to 2-0.

The Cardinals tacked on an unearned run in the fifth, aided by a throwing
error by Pittsburgh shortstop Clint Barmes on a force attempt at second after
Locke had hit Matt Carpenter with a pitch. The miscue resulted in a second and
third situation, with Carpenter later scoring on a Matt Holliday groundout.

Jeamar Gomez relieved Locke to begin the bottom of the sixth and was greeted
by Freese’s eighth homer of the season, a blast that easily cleared the wall
in straightaway center.

Molina scored St. Louis’ final run, lacing a leadoff double off Jason Grilli
to start the bottom of the eighth and crossing the plate on Daniel Descalso’s
pinch-hit, two-out single.

Game Notes

McCutchen improved to 12-of-28 (.429) lifetime against Wainwright with his two
hits … Locke is now winless (0-3) in eight starts since besting Cincinnati
on July 21 … Morneau struck out three times in four plate appearances …
The Cardinals ended 2-for-13 with runners in scoring position.