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Nolan Arenado’s early blast leads St. Louis Cardinals past Pittsburgh Pirates

May 18, 2021; St. Louis, Missouri, USA; St. Louis Cardinals third baseman Nolan Arenado (28) hits a two run home run during the first inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Nolan Arenado hit a two-run homer to power the St. Louis Cardinals past the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates 5-2 Tuesday night.

Tommy Edman had a two-run single and Edmundo Sosa hit an RBI double as the Cardinals snapped a three-game losing streak.

Cardinals starting pitcher John Gant (3-3) allowed two runs on five hits in 5 1/3 innings to earn the victory. Giovanny Gallegos threw two scoreless innings of relief and Alex Reyes closed out the ninth inning for his 12th save.

Losing pitcher JT Brubaker (3-3) allowed five runs on eight hits in 5 2/3 innings.

The Cardinals took a 2-0 first-inning lead when Arenado followed Dylan Carlson’s one-out walk with his two-out homer to left-center field.

Using small ball, the Cardinals doubled that lead to 4-0 in the second inning.

Harrison Bader drew a leadoff walk and Sosa hit a one-out single. Gant’s sacrifice bunt moved them into scoring position and Edman popped a two-run single into shallow left field.

Carlson lined a single into right field, but Brubaker avoided further damage by retiring Paul Goldschmidt on a fly ball.

Adam Frazier and Kevin Newman hit two-out singles for the Pirates in the third inning, but Gant struck out Bryan Reynolds to strand them.

Arenado drew a leadoff walk in the bottom of the third and Yadier Molina followed with a single. Sosa’s two-out RBI double pushed the Cardinals’ lead to 5-0.

The Pirates cut that lead to 5-2 in the sixth inning.

Newman hit a leadoff double and Reynolds drew a walk. Will Craig smashed a liner off Gant’s glove for a forceout at third base.

Genesis Cabrera relieved Gant and threw a wild pitch to advance the runners. Gregory Polanco hit a run-scoring groundout and Erik Gonzalez followed with an RBI infield single before Cabrera finally retired the side.

–Field Level Media