Gold Strike!

Gold­schmidt homers in 4th straight, Cards top Pi­rates 6-3

The Saline Courier - - SPORTS -

PITTS­BURGH — Paul Gold­schmidt sure likes hit­ting in Pitts­burgh.

Gold­schmidt home­red in his ca­reer-high fourth straight game, pow­er­ing the St. Louis Car­di­nals over the Pitts­burgh 6-3 on Thurs­day. He drove in nine runs and had four of the Car­di­nals’ 12 home runs dur­ing a four-game sweep of the Pi­rates.

“He’s an im­pres­sive guy,” Car­di­nals man­ager Mike Shildt said. “We’re see­ing what he’s ca­pa­ble of con­sis­tently. We’re not sur­prised.”

With St. Louis ahead 2-1 in the fourth, Gold­schmidt drove a changeup from Joe Mus­grove (7-9) for his 22nd home run. He has one homer in each of his past five games against Pitts­burgh.

“We’ve been find­ing some holes,” Gold­schmidt said. “We’ve been hit­ting ex­tra­base hits.”

Kolten Wong home­red later in the fourth and Dex­ter Fowler hit a two-run drive for a 6-1 margin in the fifth as the Car­di­nals won for the 11th time in 14 games since the All-star break, in­clud­ing their last five.

Pitts­burgh was outscored 30-19 in the se­ries and has lost 11 of 13.

“We haven’t played win­ning base­ball,” Pi­rates man­ager Clint Hur­dle said. “I know that’s an over­state­ment, but it’s a state­ment, and it’s true.

We haven’t played win­ning base­ball. We haven’t con­nected the dots.”

Miles Miko­las (7-10) gave up three runs and five hits in six in­nings.

“I felt good to have a cou­ple games in a row get­ting into the sixth and close to the sev­enth,” Miko­las said. “Thought I had every­thing work­ing to­day. Maybe not my best fast­ball, but I thought I had good con­trol of the slider and the other off­speed stuff.”

Mus­grove matched his sea­son high by giv­ing up six runs — five earned — and seven hits in five in­nings. He faulted his slider.

“I thought they were kind of able to elim­i­nate that pitch,” he said. “I threw a lot of re­ally good ones just right off the edge. I couldn’t get them to chase.”

José Martinez hit an RBI sin­gle in the first and scored on Paul De­jong’s sacri­fice fly. Bryan Reynolds’s sacri­fice fly cut the Car­di­nals’ lead to 2-1 in the third.

Right-han­der Alex Mcrae, re­called from Triple-a In­di­anapo­lis, fol­lowed Mus­grove and gave up one walk in 1 2/3 in­nings. To make room on the 25-man ros­ter, right-han­der Luis Es­co­bar was op­tioned to In­di­anapo­lis.

Star­ling Marte ex­tended his hit streak to six games with a dou­ble in the sixth that cut Pitts­burgh’s deficit to 6-2, and later scored on a ground­ball from Colin Mo­ran for the 6-3 fi­nal. While Marte has been con­sis­tent, Pi­rates first base­man Josh Bell con­tin­ues to strug­gle.

Bell, who was 1 for 3 with one walk Thurs­day, has seven hits in 38 at bats with two RBIS since the All-star break. Af­ter hit­ting 27 home runs be­fore the break, he has yet to homer since.

“I feel like I just have to fo­cus on, I guess, be­ing more se­lec­tive for the time be­ing,” Bell said. “See­ing the last se­ries or so, how guys are at­tack­ing me, I’m just go­ing to try to go from there and hunt my pitch, and try not to miss it. See if that helps me get back on the right track.”

TRAINER’S ROOM Car­di­nals: INF Matt Car­pen­ter, re­turn­ing from a bruised right foot, was 0 for 4 with two strike­outs in six in­nings at third base on Wed­nes­day night in his sec­ond in­jury re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion game for Triple-a Mem­phis on Wed­nes­day night.

UP NEXT

Car­di­nals: RHP Jack Fla­herty (4-6), seek­ing his first win since May 14, starts Fri­day against Hous­ton. He has given up two runs in 18 1/3 in­nings in his past three starts.

Pi­rates: RHP Dario Agrazal (2-0) starts Fri­day at the New York Mets.

The 24-year-old rookie has al­lowed eight runs — seven earned — in 28 in­nings over five starts.

AP

ABOVE: St. Louis slug­ger Paul Gold­schmidt slaps hands with his third base coach af­ter smash­ing a home run Thurs­day in Pitts­burgh. The dinger was his fourth in as many games. LEFT: Jose Martinez drives in a run with an RBI sin­gle off Pitts­burgh Pi­rates start­ing pitcher Joe Mus­grove dur­ing the first in­ning Thurs­day. The Car­di­nals won 6-3, sweep­ing the se­ries.

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