August 31, 2018 / 2:34 AM / 3 months ago

Gant's arm, bat helps Cards blank Pirates

EditorsNote: Changes six to five in 2nd graf

Right-hander John Gant pitched 5 2/3 scoreless innings and hit a solo home run Thursday to lead the St. Louis Cardinals to a 5-0 win over the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates.

Five relievers combined to complete the six-hit shutout.

Harrison Bader also homered, and Jose Martinez had a two-run single for St. Louis, which took the deciding game of the three-game set to win its 10th consecutive series.

The Cardinals, who reached 75 wins and hold the top spot in the National League wild-card standings, have 21 wins in August.

Starling Marte was 3-for-5, the only player with multiple hits for Pittsburgh, which has lost three of four and 12 of 16.

Gant (6-5) gave up three hits, all singles, and three walks and struck out six.

Pirates starter Joe Musgrove (5-8) allowed five runs and seven hits in six innings, with seven strikeouts and one walk.

Musgrove set down the first seven Cardinals he faced before the bottom of the order got to him.

Bader, the No. 8 batter, hit a one-out homer, his 10th, to left in the third, and Gant followed with his second homer, also to left, for a 2-0 St. Louis lead. The homer was Bader’s 100th career hit.

In the fourth, Martinez, Matt Adams and Tyler O’Neill led off with consecutive base hits to load the bases. Paul DeJong’s fielder’s choice made it 3-0.

Matt Carpenter walked with one out in the fifth and went to third on Yadier Molina’s single. Martinez’s two-run single made it 5-0, but he was thrown out trying to stretch it into a double.

The Pirates had chances. They had runners at first and second with no one out in the third before Gant got a fly ball and struck out two, the bases loaded with two outs in the seventh before reliever Carlos Martinez got a fly out and runners at second and third with two outs in the eighth before reliever Jordan Hicks struck out pinch hitter Corey Dickerson.

—Field Level Media

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