Wainwright shuts down Pirates again in 13-0 St. Louis win

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PITTSBURGH (AP) — Adam Wainwright baffled the Pittsburgh Pirates yet again, allowing three hits over seven innings as the St. Louis Cardinals cruised to a 13-0 victory on Saturday night.

Wainwright (13-7), who turns 40 on Monday, improved to 4-0 with a 0.30 ERA against the Pirates this season. He is unbeaten against Pittsburgh in his last 17 starts dating to 2016.

Masterfully mixing a fastball that never touched 90 mph with a curveball that remains one of the best in the game, Wainwright struck out five and walked one while confounding the Pirates for the third time in 17 days.

He tossed a complete-game two-hit shutout at PNC Park on Aug. 11, followed it up with eight scoreless innings in St. Louis last Sunday and came back with another brilliantly efficient performance as the Cardinals won their second straight as they try to stay on the fringe of the NL playoff race.

Edmundo Sosa tripled twice and drove in five runs against Pittsburgh starter Steven Brault (0-3). He hit a shot to the notch in left-center in the second to score Yadier Molina and Dylan Carlson and cleared the bases with a liner to the gap in right-center in the third to give Wainwright all the support he would need and then some.

Sosa finished 4 for 6, Tommy Edman also went 4 for 6 and Paul Goldschmidt had two hits and three RBIs for the Cardinals, who have won 12 of their 18 meetings with Pittsburgh this season.

Bryan Reynolds doubled for the Pirates but Pittsburgh failed to get a runner to third base while losing by double digits for the seventh time this season and third time this month. The defeat came on the same day the team released longtime right fielder Gregory Polanco, the last remaining member of the group that reached the playoffs three straight times from 2013-15.

Any return to the postseason is a long way off for the rebuilding Pirates. St. Louis is still holding onto a glimmer of hope, much of it provided by Wainwright.

The 39-year-old lowered his ERA to 2.97 on the season after going 5-0 with a 1.43 ERA in six starts during the final month of his 30s. He worked quickly, throwing 66 of his 93 pitches for strikes while giving the St. Louis bullpen most of the night off.

Wainwright is now 10-0 in his last 18 appearances against Pittsburgh. His last loss to the Pirates came on opening day in 2016, when he was on the wrong end of a 4-1 decision.

Every single member of the Pittsburgh roster that day has moved on. Yet Wainwright remains in St. Louis, a three-time All-Star throwing as well as he has at any point since winning 20 games and finishing second in the NL Cy Young race in 2014.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Cardinals: Placed LHP Andrew Miller on the 10-day injured list retroactive to Friday with a blister on his left foot. Miller missed all of May with a blister on his right foot. St. Louis called up RHP Kodi Whitley from Triple-A Memphis to fill Miller's roster spot. Whitley last pitched in the majors in May before going to the IL with back spasms.

Pirates: RF Michael Chavis left in the fourth inning with right (throwing) elbow discomfort. Chavis was replaced by Cole Tucker.

UP NEXT

Cardinals: LHP Kwang Hyun Kim (6-6, 3.27 ERA) will make his first start since Aug. 7 in the series finale on Sunday. Kim struggled in his only appearance against the Pirates this season, allowing four runs in 4 1/3 innings while getting a no-decision in what became a 5-4 loss.

Pirates: Wil Crowe (3-7, 5.46) will try for his first win in nearly a month on Sunday. Crowe is 0-2 with a 5.71 ERA in four August starts.

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More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Will Graves, The Associated Press

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