Maholm goes 7, Pirates beat Cardinals 5-2

PITTSBURGH (AP) - Paul Maholm became the latest slumping pitcher to shut down the fast-fading St. Louis Cardinals, pitching effectively over seven innings, and the Pittsburgh Pirates won their season-high fourth in a row 5-2 on Tuesday night.

The Pirates remain two losses way from their first 100-loss season since 2001, but are 4-0 on a homestand that began with a 3-game sweep of Arizona. Pittsburgh hadn't won four straight since a 5-game run from Aug. 17-22, 2009, against the Brewers and Reds.

For the Cardinals, elimination is near. Their 24th loss in 36 games dropped their magic number for elimination in the NL Central to five. First-place Cincinnati was playing in Milwaukee.

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