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Four ninth-inning walks send Pirates past Cardinals

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Reuters

Reuters

With the score 2-2, Ke’Bryan Hayes drew a four-pitch walk to lead off the ninth against St. Louis’ Giovanny Gallegos (3-6) and stole second. Miguel Andujar and Rodolfo Castro also walked, loading the bases. Gallegos was replaced by JoJo Romero, who walked Cruz on four pitches to force in the winning run.

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Jack Suwinski homered and Bryan Reynolds had an RBI double for the Pirates (61-99).

Pittsburgh starter Mitch Keller allowed two runs and six hits in five innings, with five strikeouts and two walks.

Yohan Ramirez (4-1) pitched a scoreless top of the ninth.

Albert Pujols carved out another slice of history with a two-run homer for the Cardinals (92-68).

St. Louis starter Jose Quintana, who began the season with Pittsburgh, pitched three shutout innings, allowing a hit and a walk without striking out a batter.

Quintana had a predetermined short outing as the Cardinals, who have clinched the National League Central title, prepare for the playoffs. Miles Mikolas followed Quintana, with the same purpose. He also went three innings, giving up one run and three hits with no walks or strikeouts.

St. Louis third baseman Nolan Arenado was a late lineup scratch, apparently as a precaution. He has dealt with back problems at times this season.

With the game scoreless in the sixth, St. Louis’ Paul Goldschmidt led off with a single to left. Pujols followed with a homer to left to make it 2-0.

It was Pujols’ 703rd career homer, his 24th this season. It also gave him 2,216 career RBIs, moving him ahead of Babe Ruth’s unofficial total of 2,214 and into second place all-time, behind Hank Aaron’s 2,297.

In the bottom of the sixth, Jason Delay led off with a double to right-center. He did not advance on Kevin Newman’s groundout but scored on Reynolds’ double to left-center to close the gap to 2-1.

Suwinski led off the eighth with his 19th homer, to right, for a 2-2 tie.

Gallegos entered in the game fresh off agreeing to a two-year, $11 million contract before the contest.

–Field Level Media

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