Cardinals 11, Pirates 1
PITTSBURGH (AP) _ Darryl Kile won his fourth consecutive start and Mike Matheny drove in three runs Tuesday night as the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 11-1.
Mark McGwire grounded to shortstop in the first inning, making him 1-for-4 with one home run in five plate appearances since he was activated from the disabled list last week.
McGwire, who can’t play the field because of patella tendinitis in his right knee, was listed as a left fielder and was replaced by Craig Paquette after the top of the first.
Coupled with Cincinnati’s 2-1 loss to Chicago, the Cardinals lowered their magic number for clinching the NL Central to eight. St. Louis has won nine of 12, opening a 10-game lead, the largest among the six division leaders.
Kile (18-9) allowed an unearned run and five hits in seven innings, returning following a 1-hour, 44-minute rain delay in the third.
Dan Serafini (2-4) gave up five runs and nine hits in five innings.
Fernando Tatis put St. Louis ahead with an RBI double in the first, and the Cardinals made it 4-0 in the second on run-scoring doubles by Edgar Renteria and Craig Paquette along with Matheny’s RBI single.
Tatis homered in the fifth off Serafini, and Matheny connected in the sixth off Matt Skrmetta.
Renteria made a run-scoring throwing error in the sixth on Alex Ramirez’s grounder to shortstop.
St. Louis increased the lead to 11-1 in the seventh, helped by errors by third baseman Enrique Wilson and center fielder Adrian Brown. Shawon Dunston, Renteria and Paquette hit run-scoring singles and Matheny had an RBI double.
Notes: Renteria extended his hitting streak to 12 games. ... The Pirates have lost four consecutive games since a season-best eight-game winning streak. ... The Pirates made three errors after going 54 consecutive innings without one.