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Lynn Shuts Down Pirates as Cardinals Cruise 4-0

PITTSBURGH – (AP) — Lance Lynn worked 6 1/3 innings and added a rare run-scoring double at the plate as the St. Louis Cardinals cooled off the Pittsburgh Pirates 4-0 on Saturday night.

Lynn (8-6) allowed eight hits and struck out three without issuing a walk to win his second straight start. Lynn hasn’t allowed a run in his last 13 1/3 innings of work.

Jameson Taillon (5-3) lost for the first time in nearly a month. The Cardinals pecked away at Taillon for four runs in five innings. Taillon struck out five but tied a season high by allowing eight hits.

Francisco Cervelli went 2 for 4 with a double for Pirates. Pittsburgh left nine runners on base and went 1 for 10 with runners in scoring position.

The Cardinals and Pirates are both trying to find something resembling traction in hopes of remaining within striking distance of Milwaukee in the middling NL Central. Pittsburgh began the second-half with a boost when rookie Josh Bell hit a walkoff three-run homer on Friday night.

The momentum came to a halt against Lynn. Though he retired the Pirates in order just once, Lynn only gave up one extra base hit and used double plays in the second and fourth to wiggle himself out of trouble. The 30-year-old who began the night hitting just .065 on the season managed to chip in at the plate too. The right-handed pitcher experimented with hitting left-handed earlier this month, something he has no plans of abandoning.

Lynn grounded out weakly to first in his initial at-bat but with Luke Voit on first and two outs in the fifth he slapped a double to left-center, with Voit coming around to score when Pirates centerfielder Andrew McCutchen overran the ball. Lynn came around to score on Carpenter’s RBI single and Pham doubled to left to send Carpenter racing home to push the St. Louis lead to 4-0. Pham is 9 for 14 over his last four games.

Lynn was pulled with one out in the seventh after giving up consecutive hits to Cervelli and Jordy Mercer. Reliever Matt Bowman walked Adam Frazier with two outs to load the bases but Pirates All-Star second baseman Josh Harrison – mired in a slump – flied out to left to end the threat. Harrison is hitting just .119 this month after going 0 for 4.

The Pirates plan to throw OF Starling Marte right back into the fire when he returns from his 80-game suspension for testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance. Marte is eligible to return on Tuesday against Milwaukee. He is currently in Triple-A Indianapolis and entered Saturday hitting .270 with one home run and three RBIs in 10 starts for Indianapolis and Class-A Bradenton.

“If he has a spark right away, maybe we can ride it,” manager Clint Hurdle said. “If he’s challenged for a few games, we might need to back away. We’re going to assess as we go, day by day.”

TRAINER’S ROOM

Cardinals: Placed OF Stephen Piscotty on the 10-day DL with a strained right groin and called up OF Magneuris Sierra from Double-A Springfield. The 21-year-old Sierra hit .375 in eight games with the Cardinals earlier this season.

UP NEXT

Cardinals: Carlos Martinez (6-8, 3.40 ERA), coming off two scoreless innings for the National League in the All-Star Game on Tuesday night, makes his 19th start of the season in the series finale on Sunday. Martinez is 4-5 with a 3.59 ERA in his career against Pittsburgh.

  • geoff

    That was a pretty well-played game. Looks like DeJong needs to adjust to the low and away breaking ball, in the last two games he has rolled over to third twice and struck out twice on that pitch. He needs to take that pitch to right field. Did anyone else notice when Pham hit that line drive down the third base line that the ball was passed Freese before he even started to move? That was a rope. Tommy Pham does NOT want to get benched. We get to see Sierra today, hopefully. If he lights it up the way he did before, we will all be screaming bloody murder when he is sent back down to give Grichuk another look, because if a pitcher throws it where Randall is swinging, he can hit it a long way…once a week or so. Everyone knows how fun it is to watch homers and strikeouts, rather than base hits and stolen bases and doubles and alert base running and exceptional defense.

  • James Berry

    Good game. Lynn pitched well. Defense was good outside of 2nd base. I think we’ll see Garcia at SS today to give DeJong a breather. His swing looks a little long. Sierra probably in RF.

    • JDinSTL

      Wish we’d have seen Garcia. DeJong stepped into the Diaz role

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