Taillon, Pirates slow down Cards


Associated Press

ST. LOUIS

A small bump in the road.

That’s what St. Louis Cardinals infielder Paul DeJong says Wednesday’s 4-3 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates was.

“At this point we’re flushing this one,” DeJong said. “And getting ready for L.A.”

The Cardinals begin a key four-game series against the Dodgers today. St. Louis leads Los Angeles by two games for the second NL wild card. The Dodgers beat the Reds 8-1 on Wednesday.

The Cardinals are 34-19 under new manager Mike Shildt. They have the most wins in the NL after the All-Star break with 33.

Jameson Taillon (13-9) allowed two runs and four hits in seven innings Wednesday, leaving with a 4-1 lead after the first two Cardinals reached in the eighth. He has held opponents to three earned runs or less in his last 19 starts, the second- longest streak in the NL behind New York Mets right-hander Jacob deGrom with 26.

“His command and his control were at a premium,” Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle said. “All of his pitches were in good sequence. It was all part of the package.”

Taillon has gone seven innings or more seven times this season and has limited opponents to two runs or fewer in all of those outings.

“Having a slider helps, it’s something else I can throw,” Taillon said.

Jose Martinez hit into a run-scoring forceout in the eighth inning against Felipe Vazquez, who allowed Patrick Wisdom’s run-scoring single in the ninth. Vazquez rebounded to strike out DeJong and Matt Carpenter with two on to end the game for his 22nd consecutive save and 32nd in 36 chances this year.

“He went to next-level stuff,” said Pittsburgh catcher Jacob Stallings, who drove in three runs. “To get those two punch-outs against those quality hitters was pretty spectacular.”

Pittsburgh has won six of eight. The Pirates won 11 in a row from July 11-24.

Daniel Poncedeleon (0-2) allowed two runs and five hits in five innings.

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