PITTSBURGH - Russell Martin drove home Neil Walker with the go-ahead run in the eighth inning and the Pittsburgh Pirates rallied to beat the St. Louis Cardinals 5-4 on Wednesday night.
Martin's sharp grounder off Trevor Rosenthal (1-2) rolled into left field, giving Walker enough time to score from second. The Pirates' fourth straight victory against the Cardinals gave Pittsburgh a 2-game lead in the National League Central.
St. Louis left 11 runners on base and dropped its seventh consecutive game. The Cardinals led 2-0, 3-1 and 4-2 but couldn't hold on.
Pittsburgh's Neil Walker is greeted in the dugout after homering Wednesday night against St. Louis.
Tony Watson (3-1) worked two shutout innings in relief. Mark Melancon pitched a perfect ninth for his fifth save.
Matt Holliday had three hits and drove in two runs, and the Cardinals' struggling offense put together 13 hits.
Walker hit his seventh homer of the season off Adam Wainwright in the third inning, starting a pattern that repeated itself throughout the night. The Cardinals found ways to score off starter Jeff Locke, but Pittsburgh kept chipping away.
Martin's second hit ave Pittsburgh its 25th comeback victory of the season.
While general manager Neal Huntington will continue to search for help, he isn't sure his team needs that much, even on a night Locke didn't have his best stuff.
Locke's rapid ascension from fifth starter to All-Star has fueled Pittsburgh's relentless pursuit of the Cardinals, but St. Louis spent four innings pecking away at the left-hander's usually deft mix of breaking balls.
The Cardinals came in hitting .155 (30-194) during their late-July swoon but peppered Locke for 10 hits, the most he has given up in 31 career starts.
They came in various shapes and sizes, from a hard-hit double by Beltran in the fourth to a swinging bunt by David Descalso that traveled 20 feet. Locke tied a season high by giving up four runs. He struck out six and walked one as his ERA rose from 2.15 to 2.36.
Wainwright, however, couldn't take advantage of the first signs of life by the St. Louis offense in a week. Every time the Cardinals would push in front, the Pirates would chip away, eventually tying it on a sacrifice fly by Andrew McCutchen in the fifth. It marked the third straight day the Pirates produced a run on a sac fly after failing to do so for nearly two months.
Wainwright allowed four runs on eight hits, striking out six and walking one in seven innings.
BRAVES 9, ROCKIES 0
ATLANTA (AP) - Mike Minor allowed only two hits in seven scoreless innings, Brian McCann hit a three-run homer in a seven-run third, and Atlanta beat Colorado for its sixth straight win.
Freddie Freeman drove in two runs with four hits as the Braves continued their offensive surge with 15 hits. The Braves have scored 29 runs while winning the first three games of the four-game series.
The Braves lead second-place Washington by 11 games in the NL East, their biggest advantage in nine years.
Minor (11-5) didn't walk a batter and didn't allow a Colorado baserunner to reach second base.
Tyler Chatwood (7-4) allowed a career-high seven earned runs on 10 hits, one walk and one hit batter in only 2 1-3 innings.
Colorado's Carlos Gonzalez left the game in the fourth inning after aggravating his sprained right middle finger.
GIANTS 9, PHILLIES 2
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Chad Gaudin threw seven sharp innings, Brett Pill and Brandon Crawford hit homers, and San Francisco snapped a five-game losing streak with the victory over Philadelphia.
The defending World Series champion Giants are last in the NL West. The Phillies entered 11 games out of first place and fell to nine back in the wild-card standings.
Gaudin (5-2) allowed one run and four hits, striking out five. He also got his first career RBI on a single that was just his second hit in 59 at-bats.
Roger Kieschnick had RBI singles in his first two major league at-bats for the Giants, who snapped a nine-game homerless drought when Pill went deep. Pill had three hits and four RBIs.
Kyle Kendrick (9-8) gave up eight hits and seven runs in two-plus innings.
REDS 4, PADRES 1
SAN DIEGO (AP) - Homer Bailey came within two outs of a five-hit shutout to end his four-start losing streak and Cincinnati beat San Diego to snap a five-game skid.
Brandon Phillips homered and Joey Votto hit a two-run double for the Reds, who avoided a three-game sweep and ended the Padres' four-game winning streak.
Bailey had allowed just five singles going into the ninth, when Everth Cabrera reached on a fielding error by first baseman Votto leading off the inning. The right-hander got Chris Denorfia to fly out before Chase Headley doubled in Cabrera. Manager Dusty Baker pulled Bailey, and Aroldis Chapman got the final two outs for his 25th save in 29 chances.
Bailey (6-10) allowed six hits and one unearned run, struck out seven and walked none.
Phillips homered to center field off lefty Eric Stults (8-10) leading off the second, his 13th.
MARLINS 3, METS 2
MIAMI (AP) - Jake Marisnick hit his first major league home run and Henderson Alvarez pitched into the eighth inning to lead Miami over New York.
Giancarlo Stanton and Placido Polanco also drove in a run each for the Marlins, who dropped the first two games of the four-game series with the Mets.
Mike Dunn got four outs for his second save in place of Steve Cishek, who pitched two innings and took the loss in Tuesday's 4-2 loss to New York.
Dunn issued a lead-off single to John Buck before retiring the next three batters to end the game.
Alvarez (2-1) allowed two runs and six hits in 7 1-3 innings. He is 2-0 with a 1.33 ERA in his last four starts.
Marisnick homered off of Jenrry Mejia (1-1) in the second inning to give the Marlins a 1-0 lead. The 22-year-old rookie was hitting .179 (5 for 28) in his first eight games before the home run.