The first-place Cardinals closed out the first half of 2015 with three straight losses in Pittsburgh, which allowed the Pirates to move their once-gaping deficit in the National League Central standings to just 2 1/2 games. But facing this current Mets offense can do wonders for a struggling team with good pitching.
St. Louis topped New York 3-2 on Friday night behind a very solid outing from Lance Lynn and then rolled to an easy 12-2 rout on Saturday. Randal Grichuk homered twice and collected a career-high six RBI. Jason Heyward tallied five hits, continuing to stay hot after a somewhat sluggish first two months. Starter John Lackey gave up 10 hits but only one run.
Pittsburgh, meanwhile, has dropped two games in a row in Milwaukee.
The standings gap is back to 4 1/2 games entering play Sunday.
Your box scores and AP recaps from Saturday …
Mariners 4, Yankees 3
Rays 3, Blue Jays 2
Royals 7, White Sox 6 (13 innings)
Dodgers 4, Nationals 2
Marlins 1, Phillies 3
Orioles 3, Tigers 0
Pirates 5, Brewers 8
Cubs 4, Braves 0
Indians 9, Reds 4
Rangers 7, Astros 6
Mets 2, Cardinals 12
Giants 8, Diamondbacks 4
Rockies 4, Padres 5
Red Sox 0, Angels 3
Twins 2, Athletics 3 (10 innings)
ST. LOUIS — Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols hit his 701st home run, connecting Friday night against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Pujols launched a slider from former teammate Johan Oviedo over the Big Mac Land sign in left field at Busch Stadium. The solo drive in the fourth inning made it 1-all.
Pujols faced Oviedo for the first time and made the 24-year-old righty the 456th different pitcher he’s homered against.
The St. Louis star hadn’t homered in a week since hitting No. 699 and 700 at Dodger Stadium last Friday. Pujols had gone 10 at-bats without a home run after two starts and one pinch-hit appearance.
The Busch Stadium crowd gave the 42-year-old Pujols a long standing ovation before he came out of the Cardinals dugout to tip his cap for a curtain call.
Pujols hit his 22nd home run this season for the NL Central champion Cardinals.
Pujols is fourth on the career home run list behind Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755) and Babe Ruth (714).