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Pirates’ Battery Gives Spark in 4-3 Win Over Cards

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MLB: Pittsburgh Pirates at St. Louis Cardinals Joe Puetz-USA TODAY Sports

Jameson Taillon went seven strong innings and his battery mate Jacob Stallings drove in three runs as the Pirates prevented the sweep in St. Louis, beating the Cardinals 4-3 Wednesday.

Taillon (13-9) allowed two runs on four hits and a pair of walks in his 7+ innings. His afternoon was cut short in the eighth after a leadoff walk and bloop single chased him.

Felipe Vazquez came in for a six out save chance then. One of the runners he inherited came home, in large part to Corey Dickerson losing a fly ball in left field, and he allowed a run in the ninth, but he caught Matt Carpenter looking for strike three to end the game, stranding two runners in scoring position. It is Vazquez’s 32nd save of the season and his first of the six out variety since his first big league save on Oct. 1, 2015.

Stallings put the first Pirate run on the board in the second on a bases loaded sacrifice fly. He had another chance with the bases juiced in the sixth and ripped a diamond cutter single to make it 4-1 Pirates.

Jordan Luplow drove home Starling Marte in the third for the Pirates’ other run. Luplow went 3-4 with two runs scored and a diving catch in right field.

Cardinals’ starter Daniel Poncedeleon (0-2) allowed five hits and two runs in five innings of work.

The Pirates had 10 hits on the afternoon, all of them singles.

Real Lineups Have Curves

For the first time in franchise history, the Pirates’ lineup Wednesday consisted of nine players who made stops in Altoona on the way to the majors. Curve communications director Trey Wilson was the first on the story.

Left fielder Pablo Reyes started the season in AA before being promoted to AAA on Apr. 20. Taillon is the furthest removed from his time in Altoona, last pitching there as a regular in 2013, but he did make one rehab start in AA in 2017.

Wilson also points out that 14 Pirates this year are Altoona products, which is tied for the most in Curve history.

The Curve became a Pirates affiliate in 1999.

On Deck

The Pirates get a day off Thursday before starting a three game series in Milwaukee Friday. Chris Archer (4-7, 4.56) will start for the Bucs. The Brewers will counter with newly acquired lefty Gio Gonzalez (8-11, 4.40).

NUMB3RS

1. This is Taillon’s 19th consecutive start where he allowed three earned runs or fewer. The last Pirate to do that was Bob Friend in 1963. (Cap tip to Joe Block.)

2. Pirates’ catchers have the second most RBI in the National League (85). Only the Miami Marlins have more (88).

3. This is the first time the Pirates were not swept in a series in St. Louis since 2012. The Pirates went 3-7 in St. Louis this season.