EditorsNote: Removes “Starling” in 8th graf; 11th graf changes “a” to “an” and adds “Melky”
Paul DeJong went 4-for-4 with three homers, a double and five RBIs, and the St. Louis Cardinals outslugged the Pittsburgh Pirates 14-8 Wednesday night.
DeJong, Andrew Knizner and Paul Goldschmidt all hit two-run homers in the Cardinals’ nine-run second inning, helping St. Louis earn its fourth win in a row and its third straight to start a four-game series that concludes Thursday.
Starling Marte went 4-for-5 with three doubles and three RBIs for the Pirates, who have lost four in a row.
The Cardinals won for the 10th time in 12 games to remain a half-game behind the first-place Chicago Cubs in the NL Central. The last-place Pirates lost for the 10th time in 12 games to fall 8 1/2 games back.
Things got so bad for the Pirates that manager Clint Hurdle called on utility player Jose Osuna to pitch the seventh and eighth innings and catcher Jacob Stallings to pitch the ninth.
It was the first time since at least 1908 that the Pirates used two different position players to pitch. Osuna gave up one run, on DeJong’s third homer, in the eighth, before Stallings tossed a 1-2-3 ninth.
Cardinals starting pitcher Adam Wainwright (7-7) struggled early on but lasted five innings to get the victory. He allowed four runs on five hits and four walks with five strikeouts.
Wainwright walked three batters in the first inning and allowed Marte’s RBI single and Colin Moran’s sacrifice fly.
The Cardinals immediately erased that 2-0 deficit with a nine-run rally — tying a major league record with eight extra-base hits in the inning.
Goldschmidt reached on an error, DeJong hit his first homer, and the onslaught began. Doubles by Kolten Wong and Yairo Munoz produced a run, and Knizner followed with his first big league homer.
With one out, Tommy Edman walked, Dexter Fowler hit an RBI double, then Melky Cabrera threw him out trying score on Jose Martinez’s single to right.
Goldschmidt, though, followed with his third homer in as many games. That finished Pirates starter Jordan Lyles (5-7). The right-hander allowed eight runs (five earned) on seven hits and a walk while retiring just five batters. He struck out three.
Lyles has surrendered eight homers in 12 innings during his last four starts. He yielded seven or more runs in three of those outings.
DeJong hit another two-run homer, off Luis Escobar, as part of a four-run fourth inning as the Cardinals built a 13-4 lead.
—Field Level Media