EditorsNote: minor edits
Jose Martinez and Tyler O’Neill hit two-run homers Tuesday to boost the host St. Louis Cardinals past the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-2 at Busch Stadium.
Greg Garcia added an RBI single for the Cardinals, who have won six of seven and kept hold of the top National League wild-card spot.
It was Mike Shildt’s first win as the full-time St. Louis manager after he went 26-12 as the interim boss following the firing of Mike Matheny.
Colin Moran hit an RBI single for Pittsburgh, which has lost six of seven.
Cardinals starter Jack Flaherty (8-6) gave up one run and four hits in seven innings, with five strikeouts and no walks. The rookie right-hander is 4-0 with a 1.13 ERA in his past five starts.
Bud Norris pitched a hitless ninth inning for his 28th save.
Pirates starter Ivan Nova (7-9) lasted just 3 2/3 innings. He allowed four runs, all on the two homers, and six hits total, with one strikeout and two walks.
Matt Carpenter led off the bottom of the first with an infield single, went to second on a wild pitch, advanced to third on Yadier Molina’s groundout and scored on Martinez’s 16th homer, a shot to left, for a 2-0 Cardinals lead.
In the fourth, Martinez singled ahead of O’Neill’s seventh homer, a 436-foot blast to left-center to make it 4-0.
Flaherty was perfect through four innings. In the fifth, Francisco Cervelli became Pittsburgh’s first baserunner with a leadoff single to left. He was erased on a double play, but Josh Bell hit a two-out double to the corner in right and scored on Moran’s base hit up the middle to make it 4-1.
In the eighth, the Pirates drew to 4-2 on Adeiny Hechavarria’s run-scoring, double-play grounder.
After Paul DeJong was hit by a pitch leading off the St. Louis eighth, Jedd Gyorko hit a double off the top of the wall in left. Gyorko left for a pinch runner because of a left groin injury. An out later, Garcia’s single up the middle scored DeJong to make it 5-2.
—Field Level Media