Cardinals 9, Pirates 2: Rookie Michael Wacha allowed two hits in seven shutout innings and drove in a pair of runs as host St. Louis increased its lead over Pittsburgh in the National League Central to 1 ½ games by completing a series sweep.
Matt Carpenter, John Jay and Pete Kozma each had two hits and scored twice while Carpenter and Jay added RBIs for the Cardinals, who have won four of their last five games and outscored the Pirates 26-10 in the three-game set. Wacha (3-0) walked two and struck out two while lowering his ERA to 2.70.
Charlie Morton (7-4) allowed five runs and six hits in 1 2/3 innings before leaving with a left foot injury as his career-high four-decision winning streak ended. Garrett Jones and Gaby Sanchez drove in runs in the ninth inning for the Pirates, who lost their fourth straight but have an eight-game bulge over Washington for a wild-card spot.
The Cardinals loaded the bases with none out in the first and recorded their first run on Carlos Beltran's sacrifice fly. Yadier Molina followed with what appeared to be an inning-ending double-play ball, but Matt Holliday's hard slide into second helped force Neil Walker to throw low to first as Jay scored to make it 2-0.
Carpenter delivered an RBI double and Jay followed with another two-base hit before scoring on a wild pitch to give St. Louis a 5-0 lead in the second. Wacha delivered a two-run single as part of the Cardinals' four-run fifth.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Pittsburgh won the season series 10-9. ... Kozma, who is batting .218, has hit safely in three straight games and is 4-for-8 during that span after going hitless in his previous 33 at-bats dating to Aug. 11. ... Carpenter has 48 doubles and shares the major-league lead with Baltimore's Manny Machado.