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DeJong leads Cardinals to 14-8 drubbing of Pirates

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St Louis Cardinals v Pittsburgh Pirates Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Once again the Pirates scored in the first on a hit by Starling Marte, but it was very short-lived as the Cardinals exploded for nine runs in the second inning off a hapless Jordan Lyles then cruised to a 14-8 victory, taking the first three games of the four game series.

The Cardinals tied a major league record, belting out eight extra base hits in the second innings (five doubles and three home runs), the first six coming off of Lyles, who now has a 9.57 ERA in his last nine starts, coughing up twelve home runs among 56 hits in 36 23 innings.

Paul DeJong was the hitting star for the Cardinals, as he homered and doubled in the second, homered again in the fourth, and went deep yet a third time in the eighth, while driving in five runs. DeJong had been hitting 186/257/325 over his previous 51 games, and now has 18 home runs on the season.

The game plodded joylessly along until the seventh when strong-armed utility man Jose Osuna took the mound in a mop-up role, and began effortlessly firing 93 mph fastballs. After retiring the first three batters he faced, Osuna returned in the eighth but his fastball had dropped to 90 and then he served up a curve that DeJong launched into the center field bullpen for his third homer of the game.

Cather Jacob Stallings then volunteered to pitch the ninth and appeared to be exerting as much effort as Osuna but was only coming in at 78. Regardless, Stallings retired all three batters he faced.

Corey Dickerson upped his trade value with two doubles and two walks in three at bats, upping his batting line to 310/374/517, while Marte was 4-for-5 with three doubles and three RBI.

The Pirates have now lost ten of their last twelve games, dropping into last place in the National league Central, 8 12 games behind the first place Cubs and a half game behind the fourth place Reds.

The series concludes at 12:35 p.m. Eastern on Thursday as Joe Musgrove (7-8, 4.08) faces Cardinals right-hander Miles Mikolas (6-10, 4.17)