Pirates beat Cardinals, 10-5, to win series

Pittsburgh Pirates' Gregory Polanco, right, points skyward as he is greeted at home by teammates Andrew McCutchen and Sean Rodriguez, left, after hitting a three-run home run during the seventh inning of a baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals Sunday, May 8, 2016, in St. Louis. (AP)
The Associated Press

ST. LOUIS — John Jaso and Gregory Polanco homered and the Pirates beat the St. Louis Cardinals, 10-5, Sunday at Busch Stadium.

The Pirates won the series and are now 5-1 against the Cardinals this season. The Pirates’ NL Central road trip continues Monday in Cincinnati, where they begin a three-game series against the Reds before traveling to Chicago to face the Cubs.

Jaso went 3 for 4 with a double and Starling Marte had three hits. Gerrit Cole pitched six strong innings, but the Pirates’ bullpen struggled once he left the game.

Cole loaded the bases in a 33-pitch first inning, drawing pitching coach Ray Searage to the mound. Following Searage’s chat, Cole struck out Jeremy Hazelbaker looking on three pitches to strand the runners.

Cole made good use of his curveball, especially against lefties. He allowed two runs and struck out seven.

Cardinals starter Michael Wacha began the game with three perfect innings, but the Pirates improved the second time through the order. Chris Stewart doubled in the fifth and Jordy Mercer, who had walked. Jaso worked a nine-pitch at-bat until he got what he wanted, a changeup up in the zone. Jaso lined it out to right field for his third homer of the season, and the Pirates led, 3-1.

Eight batters scored four runs in the seventh inning. Matt Bowman relieved Wacha and allowed four runs on three hits without recording an out. Pinch-hitter Matt Joyce walked, Jaso doubled and Andrew McCutchen hit an RBI single. Polanco poked a fastball off the left-field foul pole; his fourth homer of the year put the Pirates ahead 8-2.

Stewart and Josh Harrison each drove in runs against Jonathan Broxton in the eighth.

The Pirates’ bullpen let the Cardinals reduce the gap. Kyle Lobstein started the home seventh and promptly loaded the bases. Brandon Moss’ grounder produced one run. Manager Clint Hurdle went to Arquimedes Caminero to get Yadier Molina, but Molina hit a two-run single. Neftali Feliz struck out Hazelbaker to end the inning.