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By WES CROSBY
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Six St. Louis relievers combined to allow three runs in seven innings, Paul DeJong and Lars Nootbaar homered, and the Cardinals hung on to beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 7- 6 on Thursday, completing a three-game sweep.
The Cardinals bullpen was pressed into duty after starter Wade LeBlanc exited with left elbow pain. He gave up three runs on three hits in two innings.
A pair of homers turned a two-run deficit into a two-run lead for St. Louis in the fourth. DeJong sent a first- pitch curveball from JT Brubaker (4-12) into the left- field bleachers for his 16th homer to tie the game, and pinch-hitter Nootbaar’s first major league homer made it 5-3.
St. Louis has won five of six overall and 10 straight games at Pittsburgh. The Cardinals’ last loss at PNC Park came on Sept. 17, 2020.
Colin Moran homered twice for the Pirates, who have been outscored 50-18 during an eight-game losing streak.
T.J. McFarland (2-0) relieved LeBlanc in the third, giving up a leadoff walk before forcing Ke’Bryan Hayes to fly out and Jacob Stallings to ground into a double play.
St. Louis closer Alex Reyes gave up a two-run homer to Bryan Reynolds with one out in the ninth following an error by right fielder Tommy Edman. Reyes struck out the next two batters for his 27th save.
Brubaker surrendered five runs on five hits in five innings.
Moran’s three-run homer put the Pirates ahead 3-1 in the first. He took reliever Andrew Miller deep to center in the fourth to pull Pittsburgh within 5-4.
Moran hadn’t homered since April 18. It was the second two-homer game of his career.
With the Pirates trailing 6- 4 in the seventh, Hoy Park popped out to leave runners stranded on first and third. Anthony Alford struck out four times, the last with two men on in the eighth.