September 12, 2018 / 8:55 PM / in 4 months

Pirates avoid sweep, beat Cardinals 4-3

Pittsburgh’s Jacob Stallings drove in three runs to back a strong, seven-plus-inning stint by pitcher Jameson Taillon as the Pirates avoided a sweep of a three-game series with a 4-3 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday afternoon at Busch Stadium.

Taillon (13-9) allowed two runs on four scattered hits and two walks while striking out four. He left in favor of Felipe Vazquez with two on and no out in the eighth. Vazquez worked out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the eighth and another in the ninth to earn his 32nd save.

Taillon hasn’t allowed more than three earned runs in 11 consecutive outings, going 7-2 in that span and registering nine quality starts.

Rookie Daniel Poncedeleon (0-2), making his fourth start and first since Sept. 1, took the loss. He surrendered two runs on five hits and a walk over five innings while fanning seven.

Poncedeleon had the Cardinals’ only extra-base hit in the game, tripling in the third to record his first major league hit.

St. Louis jumped to a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning on Marcell Ozuna’s two-out single that plated Matt Carpenter.

That advantage was short-lived, however, as the Pirates struck for two runs in the ensuing two innings. Stallings’ one-out sacrifice fly to center field drove home Jordan Luplow from third base to tie the game in the second inning. Pittsburgh then took the lead on Luplow’s RBI single in the third that pushed across Starling Marte.

The Pirates added a pair in insurance runs in the sixth as Stallings’ bases-loaded single to center off Mike Mayers brought in Luplow and Pablo Reyes to push the lead to 4-1.

In the eighth, Vazquez allowed a single to Tyler O’Neill that loaded the bases before Jose Martinez’s groundout scored Carson Kelly to cut Pittsburgh’s lead to 4-2. Marcell Ozuna grounded out to first base to end the threat.

Pinch hitter Patrick Wisdom singled home Yairo Munoz with one out in the ninth to give St. Louis some late hope before Vazquez struck out Paul DeJong and Carpenter with two runners on base to end the game.

—Field Level Media

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