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Vince Velazquez tosses gem as Pirates shut out Cardinals

“Our guy Vinny” was impressive!

MLB: Pittsburgh Pirates at St. Louis Cardinals Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

All facets clicked for the Pittsburgh Pirates on Thursday as they picked up a 5-0 shutout win over the St. Louis Cardinals. Not only did it kick off the road trip on a high note, it also marked the first time since 2013 that the Pirates shut out the Cardinals at Busch Stadium.

Carlos Santana opened the scoring with an RBI double in the top of the sixth. Andrew McCutchen added another the following inning with a sacrifice fly.

The Pirates got insurance runs from the middle of the lineup in the eighth. Connor Joe started the inning with a solo home run — his first as a Pirate.

Rodolfo Castro would go back-to-back with Joe with a wall-scraper to left center in the following at-bat.

A wild pitch in the ninth allowed Ke’Bryan Hayes to score the game’s final run.

To the surprise of most, if not all, Pirates fans, Vince Velazquez was dominant in his third start. He earned his first win after tossing six innings of shutout ball while allowing just three hits, two walks, and collecting six strikeouts.

He also got some defensive help from Ji Hwan Bae, as he made not one...

...but two highlight reel catches in center field.

The Pirates look to make it two in a row against St. Louis on Friday as Johan Oviedo (1-0; 3.18 ERA) looks for his second win of the year. First pitch is scheduled for 8:15 p.m.