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Wainwright, Cardinals rough up Locke in 6-4 victory over Pirates | TribLIVE.com
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Wainwright, Cardinals rough up Locke in 6-4 victory over Pirates

Rob Biertempfel
| Tuesday, September 2, 2014 11:33 p.m
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The Cardinals' Peter Bourjos (right) is congratulated by teammates after scoring a run against the Pirates in the second inning Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014, at Busch Stadium in St. Louis.
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The Pirates' Russell Martin bends down after striking out swinging to end the top of the eighth inning against the Cardinals on Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014, in St. Louis.
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The Cardinals' Jhonny Peralta scores on a wild pitch by Pirates relief pitcher John Axford during the seventh inning Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014, in St. Louis.
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The Cardinals' Matt Carpenter (left) stands by as starting pitcher Adam Wainwright pauses after giving up a two-run homer to The Pirates' Starling Marte during the seventh inning Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014, in St. Louis.
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Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright hits a two-run single against the Pirates in the fourth inning Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014, at Busch Stadium in St. Louis.
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Pirates reliever Brandon Cumpton pitches against the Cardinals in the fourth inning Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014, in St. Louis.
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The Cardinals' Yadier Molina (right) smiles and points from the dugout as he watches a replay of him scoring during the fourth inning against the Pirates on Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014, in St. Louis.
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St. Louis Cardinals relief pitcher Pat Neshek celebrates after getting the Pirates' Jordy Mercer to ground out to end the game Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014, in St. Louis.
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Pirates catcher Russell Martin tries to make the tag without possession of the ball as the Cardinals' Yadier Molina scores on a single by Peter Bourjos in fourth inning Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014, in St. Louis.
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Cardinals third-base coach Jose Oquendo argues with home plate umpire James Hoye after being ejected between the third and fourth inningsagainst the Pirates on Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014, in St. Louis.
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St. Louis Cardinals second baseman Daniel Descalso throws out the Pirates' Andrew Lambo to end the top of the fifth inning Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014, in St. Louis.
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Pirates reliever John Axford pitches against the Cardinals in the seventh inning Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014, at Busch Stadium in St. Louis.
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The Cardinals' Jhonny Peralta scores a run on a wild pitch by Pirates reliever John Axford in the seventh inning Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014, at Busch Stadium in St. Louis.
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Pirates reliever John Holdzkom pitches against the Cardinals in the eighth inning Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014, at Busch Stadium in St. Louis.
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Cardinals closer Pat Neshek pitches against the Pirates in the ninth inning Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014, at Busch Stadium in St. Louis.
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The Cardinals' Peter Bourjos scores against Pirates catcher Russell Martin in the second inning Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014, at Busch Stadium in St. Louis.
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The Cardinals' Yadier Molina is safe at home as Pirates catcher Russell Martin drops the ball while attempting the tag during the fourth inning Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014, in St. Louis.
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Thes Cardinals' Peter Bourjos scores on a sacrifice fly by Matt Carpenter as Pirates catcher Russell Martin misses the throw during the second inning Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014, in St. Louis.
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The Pirates' Russell Martin (right) is congratulated by teammate Ike Davis after Martin hit a solo homer during the second inning against the Cardinals on Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014, in St. Louis.
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The Pirates' Josh Harrison is out at second as Cardinals shortstop Jhonny Peralta turns the double play during the first inning Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014, in St. Louis. Andrew Lambo was out at first.
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Pirates catcher Russell Martin catches a pop-up by the Cardinals' Matt Adams as Adams starts to walk back to the dugout during the first inning Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014, in St. Louis.
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Pirates starting pitcher Jeff Locke throws during the first inning against the Cardinals on Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014, in St. Louis.
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Pittsburgh Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen has trouble reaching a double by St. Louis Cardinals' Jhonny Peralta during the seventh inning of a baseball game Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014, in St. Louis. Peralta scored on a wild pitch later in the inning. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
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The Pirates' Russell Martin ounds third base after hitting a solo homer against the Cardinals in the second inning Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014, at Busch Stadium in St. Louis.
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The Pirates' Starling Marte rounds the bases after hitting a two-run homer off Cardinals starting pitcher Adam Wainwright during the seventh inning Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014, in St. Louis.
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The Pirates' Starling Marte rounds third base after hitting solo home run against the Cardinals in the seventh inning Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014, at Busch Stadium in St. Louis.
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Cardinals second baseman Daniel Descalso cannot reach a ball hit for a single by the Pirates' Ike Davis during the fourth inning Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014, in St. Louis.
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The Cardinals' Peter Bourjos (right) and Daniel Descalso celebrate after scoring on a single by Adam Wainwright during the fourth inning against the Pirates on Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014, in St. Louis.

ST. LOUIS — It had been more than two years since St. Louis Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright served up three home runs in a game.

Russell Martin and Jordy Mercer each hit a solo shot and Starling Marte smacked a two-run homer for the Pirates on Tuesday, but Wainwright produced almost as many runs as he allowed.

Wainwright collected three RBIs as the Cardinals rocked Pirates left-hander Jeff Locke and hung on for a 6-4 victory.

“It’s frustrating, but we knew going in to treat him like a hitter,” Martin said of Wainwright. “He gave some up, but he took them back with his bat. He was one of the toughest outs tonight.”

For the second day in a row, the Pirates blew a chance to gain ground on two of the teams ahead of them in the NL wild-card standings. The Milwaukee Brewers and Atlanta Braves lost, keeping the Pirates two games out of the final postseason berth.

Locke (6-4) pitched three-plus innings and gave up five runs, four hits and five walks.

“I didn’t have any command,” Locke said. “I fell behind everybody. I put them in counts where they either got a good pitch to hit or they could just take it. They were really in the driver’s seat the whole time.”

It was a dramatic turnaround from Locke’s effort six days earlier, when he checked the Cardinals on one run over 7 13 innings.

“It’s always in the back of your head when you face a team (again) like that, ‘Are they on to me? What’s going on?’ ” Locke said. “But it never really got to that point today, because we just fell behind everybody.”

Wainwright (16-9) worked six innings, and gave up four runs and seven hits. It was not much different from Wainwright’s performance six days earlier, when he gave up three runs and eight hits in a 3-1 loss to the Pirates.

“He didn’t look different,” Martin said. “Same stuff. Same velocity. Typically, when you see somebody for the second time in a short period of time, you get a better feel for him. You’ve seen his breaking ball, you’ve seen his cutter, you’ve seen his fastball. You know where his release point is, and you know what kind of action there is on the ball. You kind of know what to expect. When you play guys back to back like that, the hitters have an advantage.”

Locke put three men in a row on base in the first inning. Randal Grichuk singled. Matt Holliday and Jhonny Peralta both walked. Although Locke’s control was erratic, Matt Adams hacked at the first pitch and popped out to Martin. Yadier Molina flied out.

Martin’s 418-foot homer to center field gave the Pirates a 1-0 lead in the second.

In the bottom of the inning, Locke walked leadoff batter Daniel Descalso. Peter Bourjos singled. Both runners moved up on Martin’s passed ball.

Wainwright’s grounder scored Descalso. After starting out 0-2, Matt Carpenter worked a full count and hit a fly ball to medium-depth right field.

Andrew Lambo, who started over Gregory Polanco (five outfield assists) and Travis Snider (six), caught Carpenter’s fly and got rid of the ball quickly. But Bourjos beat the throw to the plate to give the Cardinals a 2-1 lead.

Mercer began the third with a game-tying blast to left field. It was Mercer’s second home run in three games after a month-long dry spell.

Molina and Descalso drew back-to-back walks to open the fourth. Bourjos singled to left, scoring Molina.

Wainwright lined a two-run single to center, which knocked Locke out of the game. It marked the second time in his career that Wainwright had three RBIs in a game.

“He’s one of the best hitting pitchers there is,” Locke said. “He’s phenomenal.”

“There are usually two or three games a year that you can swing if you can provide something offensively at the plate,” Wainwright said. “Tonight was one of those games. The guys did a great job of getting on base in front of me, and I just made a couple good swings, luckily.”

In the seventh, Ike Davis walked and Marte followed with a 441-foot monster shot to left field.

Rob Biertempfel is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at rbiertempfel@tribweb.com or via Twitter @BiertempfelTrib.

Categories: Pirates
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