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Adam Wainwright pitches the Cardinals back into first place with gem against the Pirates

Cardinals starting pitcher Adam Wainwright delivers a pitch to a Pirates batter during the first inning of their MLB National League baseball game in St. Louiss

St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Adam Wainwright delivers a pitch to a Pittsburgh Pirates batter during the first inning of their MLB National League baseball game in St. Louis, Missouri, September 7, 2013. REUTERS/Sarah Conard (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

REUTERS

The NL Central continues to provide drama as September rages on, with the Cardinals and Pirates waging battle for first place in the division this weekend. Adam Wainwright brought his A-game with his team entering the night 0.5 games out of first place, as he shut the Pirates out over seven innings of work. He allowed just two hits and two walks while striking out eight, lowering his ERA to 3.03 in the process.

The Cardinal offense got to Pirates starter Jeff Locke in the fourth, scoring twice on a David Freese sacrifice fly and a Pete Kozma RBI single. They would tack on a run in each of the fifth, sixth, and eighth innings as well, more than enough support for their ace. Trevor Rosenthal, Seth Maness, and Randy Choate teamed up for the final six outs of the game to lock up the 5-0 victory, pushing the Cardinals 0.5 games ahead of the Pirates at the top of the NL Central.

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