ST. LOUIS (AP) _ Jameson Taillon won his fourth straight start, Jacob Stallings drove in three runs and the Pittsburgh Pirates slowed the Cardinals with a 4-3 victory Wednesday that stopped the Cardinals’ three-game winning streak.
St. Louis entered 34-18 under new manager Mike Shildt and with the most wins in the NL after the All-Star break. The Cardinals’ lead for the second NL wild card was cut to two games over the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Taillon (13-9) allowed two runs and four hits in seven innings, leaving with a 4-1 lead after the first two Pirates reached in the eighth. Taillon has given up 19 runs over 71 innings in his last 11 starts.
Jose Martinez hit into a run-scoring forceout in the eighth against Felipe Vazquez, who allowed Patrick Wisdom’s run-scoring single in the ninth. Vazquez rebounded to strike out Paul DeJong and Matt Carpenter with two on to end the game for his 22nd consecutive save and 32nd in 36 chances this year. Pittsburgh has won six of eight.
Daniel Poncedeleon (0-2), making his fourth start for St. Louis, allowed two runs and five hits in five innings.
Marcell Ozuna had a run-scoring single in the first for the Cardinals, but Stallings hit a sacrifice fly in the second, Jordan Luplow had a go-ahead single in the third and Stallings boosted the lead to 4-1 with a two-run single off Mike Mayers in the sixth.
Cardinals: INF Jedd Gyorko was activated from the 10-day DL. He had been bothered by a left groin strain. … C Yadier Molina remains out with a sore hamstring.
Pirates: RHP Chris Archer (4-7, 4.56) will face LHP Gio Gonzalez (8-11, 4.40) in the opener of a three-game series at Milwaukee on Friday. Archer is making his eighth start for the Pirates after he was acquired from Tampa Bay on July 31.
Cardinals LHP Austin Gomber (5-0, 2.93) is to take on LHP Clayton Kershaw (7-5, 2.32) in the start of a four-game series against the visiting Los Angeles Dodgers on Thursday.