Edinson Volquez (8-6) threw the first complete game by a Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher this season on Thursday night, aiding the Pirates (48-44) in their 9-1 romp over the Cardinals in St. Louis.
Volquez gave up one run and six hits, struck out five batters, walked two and hit another. The last complete game pitched by a Pittsburgh hurler came on August 14, 2013, also against the Cardinals at Busch Stadium.
Russell Martin recorded three hits, including a home run for the Pirates. Andrew McCutchen tallied two hits, two RBI’s and a pair of stolen bases. Josh Harrison also finished with two hits and two RBI’s. Pedro Alvarez went 2-for-4 with a run scored.
Matt Carpenter drove home the only run for St. Louis (50-43) with a third-inning sacrifice fly. Cardinals starter Shelby Miller (7-8) lasted only five innings, allowing four runs and five hits with four walks and only one strikeout.
Despite winning only the final game of the four-game series in St. Louis and despite remaining in fourth place in the National League Central Division, the Pirates trail first-place Milwaukee, who has lost five straight contests, by only three-and-a-half games. They are two games out in the NL Wild Card chase.
On Friday night, the Pirates will begin their final series before the summer’s All-Star break with the first of three games against the Reds (49-43) in Cincinnati. In the opener, Pittsburgh’s Jeff Locke (2-1) will face Cincinnati’s Mat Latos (also 2-1).