Cardinals hold on late to sweep Pirates behind DeJong and Nootbaar blasts

St. Louis Cardinals

Powered by home runs from Paul DeJong and Lars Nootbaar, the St. Louis Cardinals defeated the Pirates Thursday afternoon 7-6, completing a three-game sweep in Pittsburgh.

T.J. McFarland (2-0) got the win in relief of starter Wade Leblanc, who left after two innings because of left elbow pain. The Cardinals also lost outfielder Dylan Carlson to right wrist soreness.

Nootbaar, pinch-hitting for McFarland, also homered in the fourth inning for the first time in his brief major league career.

After the game, Nootbaar credited Matt Carpenter, a fellow lefthanded hitter, with help scouting pitcher JT Brubaker.

Six St. Louis relievers combined to allow three runs in seven innings, including closer Alex Reyes who surrendered a ninth-inning home run to Brian Reynolds. After the game, Cardinals manager Mike Shildt credited Adam Wainwright for going the distance last night, allowing the bullpen to carry the extra load Thursday.

Shildt said LeBlanc will return to St. Louis for imaging on his elbow, while Carlson will have an MRI done Friday when the team is in Kansas City for a weekend series against the Royals.

Jack Flaherty is scheduled to make his first appearance since suffering an oblique tear that sent him to the injured list in June. The Cardinals will need to make roster moves to add him back to the 40-man and 26-man roster.

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