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Cardinals stave off 3-game sweep by edging Pirates

Sep 3, 2023; St. Louis, Missouri, USA;  St. Louis Cardinals right fielder Jordan Walker (18) hits a solo home run against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the third inning at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Alec Burleson and Nolan Gorman drove in two runs each as the St. Louis Cardinals defeated the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates 6-4 Sunday.

Jordan Walker had homer, a double and two runs for the Cardinals (59-78), who avoided a three-game sweep.

Miguel Andujar hit a homer and drove in two runs for the Pirates (63-74), whose five-game winning streak came to an end.

Cardinals starter Zack Thompson (4-5) pitched a career-best seven innings while allowing three runs on seven hits. He struck out six and walked nobody.

Giovanny Gallegos closed out the ninth for his 10th save.

Pirates starter Johan Oviedo (8-14) allowed five runs (three earned) on four hits and six walks in 3 2/3 innings.

Oviedo escaped a bases-loaded jam with no outs in the first inning. After Lars Nootbaar hit a leadoff single and Paul Goldschmidt and Gorman walked, Nolan Arenado grounded into a force play at the plate and Burleson and Walker popped out.

Andujar’s homer put the Pirates up 1-0 in the second inning.

The Cardinals again loaded the bases, this time with two outs, in the bottom of the inning when Tommy Edman hit a single and Nootbaar and Goldschmidt drew walks. This time St. Louis cashed in for a 2-1 lead on Gorman’s two-run single.

Walker’s third-inning homer, his 14th of the season, increased the Cardinals’ lead to 3-1.

The Pirates tied the game in the fourth. Bryan Reynolds hit a single, moved to third on Andrew McCutchen’s single and scored on Connor Joe’s fielder’s choice grounder. One out later, Liover Peguero delivered an RBI double.

In the bottom of the fourth, Edman walked and Nootbaar reached on an error with nobody out. Arenado’s two-out walk chased Oviedo, and Burleson greeted Pirates reliever Ryan Borucki with a two-run single to put the Cardinals up 5-3.

St. Louis pushed its lead to 6-3 in the seventh inning. Walker hit a two-out double and scored when Richie Palacios’ infield hit produced a throwing error.

Pittsburgh pulled within 6-4 in the eighth on a single by Ke’Bryan Hayes, walks to McCutchen and Joe, and Andujar’s run-scoring grounder.

–Field Level Media