Wins have been hard for Rick Ankiel to come by, but he earned number nine and helped the Cardinals trim their magic number to 7, as they whipped the Pirates 9-5. Ankiel had won only 2 of his previous 14 starts, though the Cardinals had won 8 of them. Against Pittsburgh, he issued no walks for just the second time in his career. He struck out 11 and also had a hit and an RBI. The Cards scored seven run in innings 4 through 7 to blow the game open. Mark McGwire singled in his only at bat. The Cards return home to host the Cubs tonight.
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