Ike Davis hit a two-run homer off a speaker above the seats in right-center field, Jeff Locke outpitched Adam Wainwright and the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the St. Louis Cardinals 3-1 Wednesday to close in the NL wild-card race.
Pittsburgh took two of three from the defending NL champions and has won five of seven overall. St. Louis (71-61) leads the NL wild-card race, with San Francisco (69-62) trailing by 1 1/2 games and the Pirates (69-64) one game back of the Giants for the second wild-card berth.
Davis hit his 10th homer in the second after Wainwright hit Russell Martin on the left elbow with a pitch that Martin barely tried to avoid. Davis sent an 88 mph pitch clanking off a speaker raised on a pole, about 15 feet above the seats, a drive estimated at about 433 feet. A night earlier, Davis had a pinch-hit, tiebreaking, three-run homer in the eighth inning of Pittsbugh's 5-2 win.
Davis also had an inning-ending lineout that left the bases loaded in the fifth.
Locke (6-3) allowed one run and six hits in 7 1-3 innings, giving up Matt Holliday's third-inning homer. Locke also singled in the third and scored on Andrew McCutchen's sacrifice fly, just the 11th hit for the pitcher in 98 career at-bats.
Mark Melancon pitched a one-hit ninth for his 24th save in 28 chances.
Wainwright (15-9) allowed three runs and eight hits in six innings.
Cardinals: C Yadier Molina was to begin an injury rehab assignment and catch five innings for Double-A Springfield on Wednesday and could return to the Cardinals on Friday. He has been on the 15-day DL since July 10 because of a torn ligament in his right thumb. ... RHP Michael Wacha is to throw a batting practice session before Springfield's game Wednesday. A right shoulder stress reaction landed Wacha on the DL on June 18.
Pirates: 3B Pedro Alvarez was out of the lineup, a day after he was removed from a game due to left foot discomfort. Alvarez left PNC Park with a walking boot on his foot after Tuesday's game and was seen wearing the boot in the clubhouse Wednesday.
Pirates: Pittsburgh is off Thursday before the Pirates continue their six-game homestand against the Cincinnati Reds. RHP Edinson Volquez (11-7, 3.56 ERA) starts the opener against his former team and RHP Mike Leake (10-11, 3.51 ERA).
Link to box score: Pittsburgh (69-64) 3, St. Louis (71-61) 1
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