Kelly, Cardinals avoid sweep vs. Pirates


PITTSBURGH — Joe Kelly and the St. Louis Cardinals averted a five-game sweep at Pittsburgh, ending a season-worst seven-game losing streak by routing the Pirates 13-0 Thursday night in a matchup between the NL’s top two teams.

St. Louis began the series with a 2½-game lead in the NL Central but left with the Pirates ahead by 1½ games. The Cardinals avoided their first sweep in a set of at least five games since 1916, when the New York Giants took all six games.

Pittsburgh had won the previous four games at PNC Park by a combined score of 36-10.

Kelly (2-3) pitched six scoreless innings and had two hits. Tony Cruz added three hits, including a two-run double during an eight-run seventh inning.

Charlie Morton (3-3) gave up five runs and 10 hits in six innings. He is 2-8 in his career against St. Louis.

BRAVES 11, ROCKIES 2

ATLANTA — Justin Upton drove in five runs with two homers, Julio Teheran matched his career high with 11 strikeouts, and Atlanta beat Colorado for its seventh straight win.

Jason Heyward added a two-run homer, and Chris Johnson had three hits as the Braves completed a four-game sweep of the Rockies. The Braves outscored the Rockies 31-5 in the last three games of the series.

Atlanta’s 7-0 homestand also included three wins over St. Louis.

The NL East-leading Braves stretched their lead over Washington to 11½ games.

GIANTS 2, PHILLIES 1

PHILADELPHIA — Joaquin Arias and pinch-hitter Roger Kieschnick had RBI singles off Jonathan Papelbon in the top of the ninth inning, then Sergio Romo escaped a bases-loaded jam in the bottom half as San Francisco beat Philadelphia.

Matt Cain (7-6) gave up one run and six hits in eight innings. The struggling ace lowered his ERA to 4.57.

Cole Hamels allowed seven hits and struck out five in eight scoreless innings. He left with a 1-0 lead that he gave himself with an RBI single.

MARLINS 3, METS 0

MIAMI — Tom Koehler pitched six effective innings, and Miami stalled Matt Harvey once again, beating the New York Mets.

Logan Morrison’s two-out single broke a scoreless tie in the sixth. Donovan Solano added a two-run single later in the inning.

DODGERS 6, CUBS 4

CHICAGO — Yasiel Puig hit a long home run and scored two runs to lead the Los Angeles Dodgers over the Chicago Cubs.

Hanley Ramirez and Jerry Hairston each drove in two runs for the Dodgers, who got a win a night after having a four-game winning streak snapped. Los Angeles is 11-2 since the All-Star break.