Right-hander Trevor Williams struck out a career-high eight batters in six scoreless innings Wednesday as the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates ended a two-game losing streak with a 2-0 win over the St. Louis Cardinals.
Edgar Santana, Keone Kela and Felipe Vazquez pitched a scoreless inning of relief apiece to complete the five-hit shutout. Vazquez picked up his 28th save.
Starling Marte and Gregory Polanco each hit an RBI single in the fifth for Pittsburgh, which had lost six of seven.
The Cardinals had their two-game winning streak snapped and missed a chance to move within 3 1/2 games of the first-place Chicago Cubs in the National League Central.
St. Louis has been shut out five times, three of them by Pittsburgh.
Williams (11-9) allowed three hits and walked three. He has a 0.75 ERA over his past eight starts, giving up four runs in 48 innings over that span. He has started eight of Pittsburgh’s 14 shutout wins.
St. Louis starter Miles Mikolas (13-4) allowed two runs and eight hits in five innings, with five strikeouts and a walk. It was his first loss since June 29. He was 5-0 in 10 starts in the interim.
Both teams threatened in the first.
The Pirates loaded the bases with two outs, but Mikolas got Josh Bell to fly out. St. Louis had runners on second and third with no one out, but Williams got two strikeouts and a pop-up.
In the fourth, with Pittsburgh batting, Cardinals first baseman Matt Carpenter, who had walked twice, left the game because of nausea.
The Pirates broke through in the fifth. Jordy Mercer, fresh off the disabled list, led off with a double to the wall in left-center. Williams bunted Mercer to third. Marte’s broken-bat single to shallow left drove in Mercer for a 1-0 lead. Adam Frazier moved Marte to third with a single to left-center, and Polanco followed with an RBI base hit to right for a 2-0 advantage.
—Field Level Media