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Cardinals waltz to 7-0 win, sweep over Pirates

MLB: Pittsburgh Pirates at St. Louis Cardinals Scott Kane-USA TODAY Sports

Ivan Nova continued his second-half collapse and the Pirates’ anemic offense remained asleep in a 7-0 loss to the Cardinals. The Pirates were swept in the three game series, scoring only four runs in 27 innings. They’ve now lost five in a row.

Nova did what he’s been doing for over two months now; he got hit hard and didn’t show the flawless control he did early in the year. A walk and two singles produced a run in the first. Another walk and a single set up a three-run HR by Yadier Molina in the third. Randal Grichuk made it 5-0 with a HR in the fourth. Nova was done after five. He struck out seven, tying his season high.

The Pirates’ bottom-feeding offense meanwhile was completely ineffective as Michael Wacha easily mowed them down for eight innings. The Pirates never mounted a threat against Wacha, getting only one runner past first. That came when David Freese hit a one-out double in the second, but he got no further. At no point did the Pirates get two runners on in an inning. Wacha allowed five hits, walked nobody and fanned seven.

Clint Hurdle put Wade LeBlanc in to compete in the sixth and he competitively allowed a sacrifice fly to Wacha. Angel Sanchez, being a rookie, gave up a non-competitive run in the seventh. Dovydas Neverauskas had a 1-2-3 eighth.

Mike Matheny spared Neal Huntington the further humiliation of having Juan Nicasio finish off the shutout. Somebody named John Gant gave up a double to Andrew McCutchen, but that was all the competition the Pirates could muster.