PITTSBURGH (AP) – Marcell Ozuna hit a three-run homer to break out of his slump and Adam Wainwright pitched seven strong innings, helping the St. Louis Cardinals maintain their lead atop the NL Central with a 10-1 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Saturday night.
The Cardinals entered the day 2 ½ games ahead of Chicago for the division lead.
After Dexter Fowler opened the scoring with an RBI single earlier in the third inning, Ozuna connected against Steven Brault (4-4) for his 26th home run of the season and a 4-0 lead. The cleanup hitter also walked twice after having two hits in his 35 at-bats.
Wainwright (11-9) helped himself with a double and single while lasting seven innings for the second straight start. He gave up one run and six hits.
Starling Marte drove in the Pirates’ run with a single in the third. He had three RBIs and four hits, including a first-inning triple Saturday, in seven at-bats in two games since missing the previous two with a leg injury.
Tommy Edman and Harrison Bader chased Brault with a pair of RBI singles that extended the lead to 6-1 in the sixth. Brault allowed six runs and six hits in 5 1/3 innings with two walks, a balk, a wild pitch and a hit batter.
Brault hadn’t given up more than four runs in 15 appearances – 13 starts- ) since May 12, when St. Louis also tagged him for six in 3 2/3 innings before losing 10-6.
Paul DeJong tacked on two more runs with a double off Clay Holmes, making it 8-1 in the seventh. Bader hit an RBI double in the ninth before Andrew Knizner scored on a groundball to cap it.
KEEP IT GOING
Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina extended his hitting streak to 14 games with a single to center in the ninth inning. His career best string is 16 games.
Pirates: RHP Mitch Keller is expected to rejoin the starting rotation Tuesday after sustaining a right wrist contusion Sept. 3. He was originally in line to start Sunday.
Cardinals: RHP Jack Flaherty (9-7, 3.14) is coming off his best outing of the season. He allowed one hit with eight strikeouts in eight innings of a 1-0 win against San Francisco on Sept. 3.
Pirates: RHP James Marvel (0-0) will make his major league debut Sunday. He was 7-0 with a 2.67 ERA in 11 starts for Triple-A Indianapolis this season.