Jameson Taillon sharp again; Pirates top Cardinals | TribLIVE.com
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The Associated Press
Pirates starting pitcher Jameson Taillon delivers during the first inning against the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2018, in St. Louis.

ST. LOUIS — Jameson Taillon won his fourth straight start, Jacob Stallings drove in three runs and the Pittsburgh Pirates slowed the Cardinals with a 4-3 victory Wednesday that stopped St. Louis’ three-game winning streak.

Jameson Taillon (13-9) allowed two runs and four hits in seven innings, leaving with a 4-1 lead after the first two Cardinals reached in the eighth. He has held opponents to three earned runs or fewer in his last 19 starts, the second-longest streak in the NL behind New York Mets right-hander Jacob deGrom with 26.

“His command and his control were at a premium,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. “All of his pitches were in good sequence. It was all part of the package.”

Taillon has gone seven innings or more seven times this season and has limited opponents to two runs or fewer in all of those outings.

“Having a slider helps. It’s something else I can throw,” Taillon said.

Jose Martinez hit into a run-scoring forceout in the eighth inning against Felipe Vazquez, who allowed Patrick Wisdom’s run-scoring single in the ninth. Vazquez rebounded to strike out Paul DeJong and Matt Carpenter with two on to end the game for his 22nd consecutive save and 32nd in 36 chances this year.

“He went to next-level stuff,” Stallings said. “To get those two punchouts against those quality hitters was pretty spectacular.”

The Pirates have won six of eight.

The Cardinals dropped to 34-19 under new manager Mike Shildt. They still have the most wins in the NL after the All-Star break with 33.

“At this point, we’re flushing this one,” DeJong said of the loss. “And getting ready for L.A.”

The Cardinals begin a key four-game series against the Dodgers on Thursday. St. Louis leads Los Angeles by two games for the second NL wild card. The Dodgers beat the Reds, 8-1, on Wednesday.

Outfielder Harrison Bader is confident St. Louis can break its two-year postseason drought.

“The best time to play our best baseball is towards the end of the season,” Bader said. “And I think we’re right there. Pitching, defense, offense, I couldn’t be more excited for these last few games.”

Daniel Poncedeleon (0-2), making his fourth start for St. Louis, allowed two runs and five hits in five innings.

Marcell Ozuna had a run-scoring single in the first for the Cardinals, but Stallings hit a sacrifice fly in the second, Jordan Luplow had a go-ahead single in the third, and Stallings boosted the lead to 4-1 with a two-run single off Mike Mayers in the sixth.

Note : Pirates outfielder Gregory Polanco underwent surgery to repair an acute dislocation of his left shoulder. He was injured Friday and is out for the rest of the season.

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