PITTSBURGH (AP) — Lance Lynn allowed eight runs in the first inning and the St. Louis Cardinals slipped up against the Pittsburgh Pirates 11-6 on Saturday night.
St. Louis (81-73) entered the day 1 1/2 games behind Colorado, which plays San Diego on Saturday night, for the second NL wild card. The loss ended the Cardinals’ four-game winning streak. St. Louis remained five games behind the Cubs in the NL Central after Chicago lost to Milwaukee, which is a half-game ahead of the Cardinals.
Lynn (11-8) got two outs before being pulled after six hits and eight runs. It was his shortest outing since Aug. 13, 2015, also at Pittsburgh.
Tommy Pham gave the Cardinals a 2-0 lead against Gerrit Cole (12-11) two batters into the game when he sent the first pitch of his at-bat over the center-field wall. Pham was 2 for 4 with three RBIs.
Then Pittsburgh got to Lynn. David Freese and Elias Dias each singled with the bases loaded before Jordy Mercer and Starling Marte each tripled to build an 8-2 lead. Marte also walked in the inning, and Adam Frazier doubled and walked in the inning.
Marte added another Pirates run with a sacrifice fly in the third inning, Mercer made it 10-3 with a double in the fifth and Freese also doubled to make it 11-6 in the eighth.
Even with two wins in its past three games, Pittsburgh (70-85) has lost eight of its past 10.
Cole (12-11) allowed five runs and seven hits for his first win since Aug. 26. He had lost three straight decisions.
STUMBLING OUT OF THE GATE
On his 42nd pitch of the first inning, Lynn walked Frazier before manager Mike Matheny pulled him in favor of reliever Josh Lucas. He had not allowed more than seven runs in a start this season.
AN UNUSUAL RECORD
Trailing 10-3 entering the sixth inning, Matheny tied a major league record by using six pinch-hitters in an inning in an apparent attempt to save his regulars for Sunday. The Cardinals scored three runs to cut the Pirates’ lead to 10-6.
Cardinals: RHP John Gant (0-0, 3.86) will look for his second major league win when he faces the Pirates on Sunday. His first win came June 17, 2016, against the Atlanta Braves. Gant allowed two runs in one inning his last time out on Sept. 19 after pitching five scoreless innings in his previous four appearances.
Pirates: RHP Jameson Taillon (7-7, 4.73) will attempt to put together a second consecutive strong start when he takes the mound Sunday. After allowing six runs on 11 hits in 4 2/3 innings against the Chicago Cubs on Sept. 7, he surrendered two on six hits in five innings during a 3-0 loss to the Brewers on Sept. 18.