September 7, 2015

Bucs, Cole dominate Cards in series finale

ST. LOUIS--BUSCH STADIUM--Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Gerrit Cole (16-8) stifled the St. Louis Cardinals in game number three of the teams' series in St. Louis yesterday.

Cole allowed no runs in seven full innings on the mound, permitting only a couple hits on the way to a Pirates' rout of the Cards, 7-1.

The win pulls the Pirates back to within five and a half games the the N. L. Central leading Cardinals, as the division's top two competitors see-sawed between the five and a half and six and a half over the weekend series.

Cards' starter John Lackey (11-9) took the loss, but provided a valuable service to the team by going seven and a third innings, keeping manager, Mike Matheny, from having to lean too much on a bullpen that could arguably use some rest. Minimizing bullpen usage Sunday might help the Cardinals today when they open up a three-game series the the Chicago Cubs, who continue to keep hunting for the Central Division title.

The Pirates accumulated five of their seven runs off the longball, all in the final two frames of the game, including a solo shot by Aramis Ramirez off Lackey in the eighth inning, a two-run homer by Sean Rodriguez off of Steve Cishek. In the ninth, Starling Marte went long on Tyler Lyons, making it a 7-0 runaway at the time.

Cody Stanley's RBI in the ninth was the only comeback run the Redbirds could muster.