Jeff Locke turned in another dazzling performance, and Russell Martin hit two home runs as the Pirates beat the Cardinals, 9-0, this afternoon at Busch Stadium.
Locke (3-1) pitched seven scoreless innings, allowing three hits and striking out three batters in the longest outing of his young career. He has thrown 13 consecutive scoreless innings. He walked two batters and lowered his ERA to 2.83.
Martin homered in the second and ninth innings for his seventh career multi-home run game. He also hit the game-tying home run Saturday and has a team leading five on the season, all coming since April 18.
With the victory, the Pirates (15-10) secure a series victory against the Cardinals (14-10) and move into first place in the National League Central. They also gave manager Clint Hurdle his 700th career victory, 11th most among active managers.
The team's 15 wins are the most in April since 1992, when the Pirates went 15-5 in the month. The Pirates have five shutouts this season, tied with the Cardinals and San Francisco Giants for most in the NL.
St. Louis starter Shelby Miller, who's already garnering attention as a candidate for NL rookie of the year, took his second loss of the season, both at the hands of the Pirates.