The St. Louis Cardinals came into Wednesday night’s game against the Pittsburgh Pirates with a six game lead in the National League Central division. It was five games until they defeated the Pirates 4-3 on Tuesday night.
And after game two of a three game series at Busch Stadium, the Cardinals had themselves a seven game lead in the division, winning 4-2.
For the evening, it was a battle of young, top stars, as Michael Wacha (13-4, 2.92) for the Cardinals, pitched against Gerrit Cole (14-5, 2.39) for the Pirates.
The scoring began in the bottom of the third inning. Wacha led off with a walk issued by Cole. One out later, Kolten Wong singled, putting two runners on with one out. Jhonny Peralta followed with an infield single, loading the bases for Jason Heyward.
Heyward reached base safely on a fielding error by Neil Walker, and, as the Pirates’ poor fielding against the Cardinals continued, Wacha and Wong scored to give them a 2-0 lead.
Pittsburgh was able to get on the board to kick off the fourth inning, when Andrew McCutcheon hit a lead-off solo home run to make it 2-1. McCutcheon later tied the game, when, with Gregory Polanco on base, he hit a triple that was misplayed in center field by Randal Grichuk.
In the bottom of the sixth, however, Grichuk played a part in St. Louis regaining the lead. After a groundout by Heyward, he singled to right field, bringing up Yadier Molina. And Molina hit a triple to score Grichuk and make it 3-2 Cardinals. Molina currently has as many triples as he does home runs.
But the Cardinals weren’t done there.
Stephen Piscotty singled to center to score Molina and give them a 4-2 lead in the sixth.
And that was all they needed.
Wacha had himself another quality start, as his career year continues. Kevin Siegrist entered the game to relieve Wacha in the top of the seventh, as his final line of the game was: 6.0 IP, 9 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 7 Ks.
Siegrist shut down the Pirates in the seventh and eighth, and closer Trevor Rosenthal notched his 35th save of the season in the ninth, as the Cardinals added another game to their lead over the Pirates in the division.
With the win, the Cardinals improve to 33 games over .500 for the first time since 2005, as they enter Thursday with a record of 73-40. The Pirates, meanwhile, drop to 65-46. Wacha is now 14-4, and Cole drops to 14-6.
Tomorrow, Lance Lynn gets the start in the series finale.
(Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)