PITTSBURGH (AP) - Charlie Morton pitched effectively over six innings to win for the first time in 4 1/2 months, Pedro Alvarez homered and drove in four runs and the Pittsburgh Pirates extended the St. Louis Cardinals' late-season collapse by winning 11-6 on Wednesday night.
John Bowker homered among three hits as the Pirates won their fifth straight, their longest streak since an identical run in August 2009, and assured the Cardinals of their eighth consecutive series loss to a losing-record opponent. St. Louis has dropped 25 of 37 since it led the NL Central on Aug. 13, including the first 2 of this 3-game series.
Any combination of losses by St. Louis or wins by first-place Cincinnati totaling three will eliminate St. Louis from a division race it led much of the season.
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