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Wainwright, Cards down Pirates

St. Louis, MO (Sports Network) - Adam Wainwright got back on track by firing seven scoreless innings, with the gem sending the St. Louis Cardinals back in first place in the NL Central via a 5-0 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates at Busch Stadium.

Battered for 15 runs over eight innings during consecutive losses to Cincinnati in his last two starts, Wainwright (16-9) reclaimed his All-Star form to move the Cardinals a half-game ahead of the Pirates in the standings and join Colorado's Jorge De La Rosa and Washington's Jordan Zimmermann for the NL lead in wins. The ace righty yielded just two hits and a pair of walks, struck out eight, and set down the final 11 men he faced.

David Freese supplied the offense for the Cardinals with a solo homer and two RBI, while Yadier Molina doubled twice and scored a pair of runs.

Andrew McCutchen had two of Pittsburgh's three hits as the Pirates were handed a third straight loss that includes a 12-8 setback in Friday's opener of this key three-game set.

Jeff Locke (9-5), making his first start since Aug. 27, worked five innings for the Pirates and permitted three runs -- two earned -- while walking four.

09/07 22:23:18 ET