Carlos Beltran homered twice and Lance Lynn pitched seven strong innings to power the St. Louis Cardinals to a 9-1 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Lynn (4-0), who entered Friday with a nine-inning scoreless streak, gave up his only run on a sixth-inning sacrifice fly from Pedro Alvarez. That scored Garrett Jones, who led off with a double. The right-hander allowed only one other hit, a single from Starling Marte to lead off the game.
“I’ve gotten into a little bit of a groove here,” Lynn said. “It’s good to be staying in that groove. I was able to get my fastball early and mix in offspeed pitches. That’s what you have to do, keep them off balance, but also know who you are and challenge them with a fastball.”
Allen Craig and Beltran each drove in three runs in St. Louis’ fourth consecutive win.
Lynn, who had three walks and nine strikeouts, has a nine-game winning streak dating back to last year. His last regular season defeat came Sept. 7, against Milwaukee in relief.
Matt Carpenter and Beltran homered to start the game against Jonathan Sanchez, (0-3), who was ejected later in the first inning along with Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle.
The ejections came after Sanchez pegged Craig in the helmet with a pitch. Hurdle was ejected for arguing, and Jeanmar Gomez pitched the ensuing 4 1/3 innings.
“I have every belief he’s trying to pitch in hard,” Hurdle said of Sanchez. “He missed his spots over the plate so he’s trying to push the hitter back and he clips him. Tim (Timmons) didn’t see it that way.”
Pirates hitting coach Jay Bell was ejected in the fifth inning by Timmons for arguing. That came after Marte was hit for the second time by Lynn.
The Pirates, who totaled just five hits, had a three-game winning streak broken and lost for just the second time in eight contests.
Carpenter homered to center to start the bottom of the first, and then batting right-handed, Beltran homered to left field.
Craig singled in Matt Holliday in the third and Beltran went deep with Carpenter aboard in the fifth for his sixth homer of the year.
The Cardinals tacked on four runs in the eighth after the Pirates wasted a bases-loaded chance in the top half. Pete Kozma and Holliday each had RBI base hits, and Craig added a two-run single, all off Vin Mazzaro.