Cards sweep Pirates, extend lead in NL CentralSep 9, 2013 - 5:23 AM St. Louis, MO (Sports Network) - Rookie Michael Wacha tossed seven scoreless innings and singled home a pair during a four-run fifth, as the St. Louis Cardinals wrapped up a convincing three-game sweep of the Pittsburgh Pirates with Sunday's 9-2 win at Busch Stadium.
Matt Carpenter, Jon Jay and David Freese each had two hits and one RBI for the NL Central-leading Cardinals, who are now 1 1/2 games up on the second-place Pirates and Cincinnati Reds in the division standings. Wacha (3-0) scattered two hits and walked two during his impressive outing.
"That was our last opportunity to play those guys," Carpenter said. "We needed to come out and have a big series, and I don't think you can have a bigger one than getting the sweep like we did."
Pittsburgh lost starter Charlie Morton (7-4) to injury in the second inning. Morton had struggled on the mound before being removed with discomfort in his left foot, having been tagged for five runs and six hits while recording just five outs.
The Pirates have lost four games in a row, tying a season high, and remain one victory shy of securing their first winning season since 1992.
"We weren't sharp in any particular area of the game all weekend," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said.
Morton found himself in immediate trouble as singles by Carpenter and Jay and a walk to Matt Holliday loaded the bases with no outs. Carpenter scored on Carlos Beltran's sacrifice fly and a fielder's choice by Yadier Molina plated Jay.
The Pittsburgh right-hander gave up doubles to three of the first four batters in the second, with Carpenter and Jay each driving in a run. Jay eventually scored on a wild pitch that was also ball four to Beltran. Morton was replaced by Stolmy Pimentel following the two-out walk.
Pimentel allowed an RBI single to Freese in the fifth before Vin Mazzaro took over on the mound. Mazzaro gave up three straight hits, with Wacha plating Freese and Matt Adams. Holliday added a run-scoring single off Jared Hughes.
Garrett Jones spoiled St. Louis' shutout bid with an RBI double in the ninth and Gaby Sanchez scored Jones with a fly to right.
Morton, who was 4-0 with a 1.74 ERA in his previous six starts, will undergo treatment and further evaluation in the next few days. He is now 0-6 in his last eight starts against the Cardinals ... St. Louis outhit the Pirates, 12-4 ... The Cardinals were 6-for-12 with runners in scoring position.
- PITTSBURGH: 2
ST. LOUIS: 9
Sep 8 5:23 PM
- Gaby Sanchez sacrifice fly to right scored Garrett Jones with one out. Runner on first and Kyle Farnsworth due up.
Pirates 2, Cardinals 9 Top 9, 1 OutSep 8 5:19 PM
- Garrett Jones doubled to left scoring Josh Harrison with none out. Runner on second and Felix Pie due up.
Pirates 1, Cardinals 9 Top 9, 0 OutsSep 8 5:12 PM
- Matt Holliday singled to right scoring Pete Kozma with two out. On the play, Jon Jay advances to second and Michael Wacha advances to third. Bases loaded and Carlos Beltran due up.
Pirates 0, Cardinals 9 Bot 5, 2 OutsSep 8 4:17 PM
- Michael Wacha singled to center scoring David Freese and Matt Adams with one out. On the play, Pete Kozma advances to third. Runners on first and third and Matt Carpenter due up.
Pirates 0, Cardinals 8 Bot 5, 1 OutSep 8 4:05 PM
- David Freese singled to left scoring Carlos Beltran with one out. Runner on first and Matt Adams due up.
Pirates 0, Cardinals 6 Bot 5, 1 OutSep 8 3:59 PM
- Carlos Beltran walked. On the play, Jon Jay scored on a Charlie Morton wild pitch with two out. Runner on first and Yadier Molina due up.
Pirates 0, Cardinals 5 Bot 2, 2 OutsSep 8 2:57 PM
- Jon Jay doubled to left scoring Matt Carpenter with one out. Runner on second and Matt Holliday due up.
Pirates 0, Cardinals 4 Bot 2, 1 OutSep 8 2:51 PM
- Matt Carpenter doubled to left scoring Pete Kozma with one out. Runner on second and Jon Jay due up.
Pirates 0, Cardinals 3 Bot 2, 1 OutSep 8 2:49 PM
- Yadier Molina grounded into a fielder's choice to second scoring Jon Jay with two out. On the play, Matt Holliday out at second. Runner on first and David Freese due up.
Pirates 0, Cardinals 2 Bot 1, 2 OutsSep 8 2:30 PM
- Carlos Beltran sacrifice fly to center scored Matt Carpenter with one out. On the play, Jon Jay advances to third. Runners on first and third and Yadier Molina due up.
Pirates 0, Cardinals 1 Bot 1, 1 OutSep 8 2:28 PM
- PITTSBURGH: 0
ST. LOUIS: 0
Top 1, 0 Outs
Sep 8 2:16 PM
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