The Cardinals clinched the National League Central on Wednesday with an 11–1 win over the Pirates at PNC Park.
Lefthander Tyler Lyons picked up the win for the Cardinals, moving to 3–1 after pitching seven scoreless innings while allowing four hits, striking out five batters and walking none.
Rightfielder Jason Heyward went 3- for 4, including a grand slam in the third inning to put St. Louis ahead 6–0. Jhonny Peralta drove in three runs for the Cardinals while Tony Cruz drove in two on a ninth-inning home run.
In order to stay in the race for the division, the Pirates needed to sweep the Cardinals in the series. The Cardinals won the opener on Monday before Tuesday’s game was postponed and rescheduled as part of a day-night doubleheader on Wednesday. The Pirates won Wednesday’s first game 8–2.
St. Louis has now won the NL Central title for the third straight season. In last year’s postseason, the Cardinals lost to the eventual World Series champion Giants in the NLCS.
The Cardinals have an MLB-best record 100–56 and conclude their season in Atlanta facing the Braves for a three-game series.
- Beth Maiman