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Thomas’ slam leads Cardinals to comeback win over Pirates

JUPITER, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 21: Paul Goldschmidt #46 of the St. Louis Cardinals poses for a photo during photo days at Roger Dean Stadium on February 21, 2019 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

ST. LOUIS (AP) _ Lane Thomas hit a go-ahead grand slam in the seventh inning, Paul Goldschmidt and Dexter Fowler also homered, and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 11-9 Sunday.

St. Louis rallied from an 8-4 deficit to sweep the three-game series and move into second place in the NL Central, two games behind the Chicago Cubs.

Josh Bell had two homers and four RBIs for Pittsburgh, which has lost eight straight. Pablo Reyes added a solo shot in the ninth.

Thomas, a rookie outfielder playing his 21st game, drove in five runs. His first career slam came off Kyle Crick (3-7) and put the Cardinals ahead 9-8. He also had an RBI triple in the fourth.

John Gant (8-0) tossed a scoreless seventh to pick up the win. Andrew Miller picked up his fourth save in six tries.

Goldschmidt hit his team-high 26th homer in the first inning and started the five-run seventh-inning rally with a leadoff single. Marcell Ozuna followed with a single, and Crick hit back-to-back batters to set the stage for Thomas’ third homer of the season.

Fowler hit a two-run homer in the eighth off Geoff Hartlieb.

Bell hit two-run homers in the first and fifth innings. It was the fifth multihomer game of his career, all this season. The homers, his 28th and 29th, were his first since July 5. He has an NL-leading 68 extra-base hits.

Pittsburgh starter Steven Brault gave up four earned runs on five hits over 4 2/3 innings. He struck out three and walked three. Brault had a seven-game hitting streak halted with an 0-for-2 performance. He came into the contest on an 8-for-10 run.

Cardinals starter Miles Mikolas surrendered five earned runs and seven hits over five innings. He gave up both home runs to Bell.

St. Luis outfielder Jose Martinez left the game in the fifth with right shoulder discomfort.

SCHEDULE BREAK

The Cardinals will play 24 of their next 30 games against teams with losing records and a combined .446 winning percentage. St. Louis is 31-20 against teams with losing marks.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Pirates: C Francisco Cervelli began a rehab stint Sunday night with Double-A Altoona. Cervelli was placed on the 60-day injured list with a concussion May 26.

Cardinals: C Yadier Molina is, “very likely,” to rejoin the team on Tuesday, according to manager Mike Shildt. Molina has been out since July 8 with a right thumb tendon stain. He has missed the last 28 games.

UP NEXT

Pirates: RHP Mitch Keller (0-1, 10.50) will face Los Angeles Angels LHP Jose Suarez (2-3, 6.22) in the first of a three-game set in Anaheim on Monday. Keller will be recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis on Monday. He will be making his fourth major league start.

Cardinals: RHP Jack Flaherty (5-6 3.72) will take on Kansas City RHP Glenn Sparkman (3-7, 5.71) in the first of a two-game series on Tuesday in Kansas City. Flaherty struck out 10 batters in seven innings of a 2-1 loss to the Dodgers on Wednesday.

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