ST. LOUIS (AP) — Cardinals pitcher John Gant got a new label from teammate Jose Martinez — power hitter.Harrison Bader and Gant hit back-to-back home runs Reggie Jackson Jersey , Gant pitched into the sixth inning and St. Louis beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-0 on Thursday night.“You hit one, you’re lucky,” Martinez said of Gant’s second blast of the season. “You hit a second one, you’re a power hitter.”The Cardinals have won 17 of 21 and took their tenth consecutive series, their longest series winning streak since 2009, when they also won ten in a row.“It’s an important thing,” Cardinals manager Mike Shildt said. “We want to get better as the game goes and we want to get better as the series goes. And if you take care of the series, the rest of it just falls into place.”Gant (6-5) pitched out of a bases-loaded situation in the first and a two-on, no-out jam in the third to win for the third time in his last four tries. He struck out six in 5 2/3 innings and has allowed one earned run in his last 12 2/3 innings.“It was a great team win, a great series win,” Gant said. “Another series win, and we’re going to try to keep on chugging.”Pirates starter Joe Musgrove (5-8) opened the game with 21 consecutive strikes, a first in the majors since pitch tracking began in 1988, according to Stats. That control didn’t do him much good , though. He gave up five runs in six innings.“I came out sharp but I didn’t keep my foot on the gas,” Musgrove said. “I didn’t keep going. That’s got to be done against a good lineup like that.”Musgrove’s strike streak ended with a first-pitch ball to Bader in the third, and two pitches later, Bader went deep to left. Gant then homered on a 2-1 pitch, giving St. Louis consecutive home runs for the seventh time this season.“I’m just trying to make contact and contact was made tonight,” Gant said.Gant tied Miles Mikolas for most home runs among St. Louis pitchers this season. After starting his career 0 for 30, Gant has homered twice in his last six at-bats. He is the third pitcher in the expansion era to have his first two career hits as home runs.Shildt said Gant put in a gutty performance.“He was making pitches,” Shildt said. “He missed a few spots and the guys made some plays, but John’s a really good competitor, he’s a mentally tough guy, so he was really just able to compete with what he had and used all his pitches.”Martinez singled and scored in the fourth and drove in two more with a single in the fifth to give the Cardinals a 5-0 lead. Martinez has hit safely in 20 of 25 games in August and has a team-high 18 multi-RBI games.“He was actually trying to mix in some pitches and he was throwing some different pitches than we were expecting,” Martinez said of Musgrove. “We just had to make the adjustments.”Pittsburgh lost for the seventh time in its last nine games. The Pirates stranded 12 runners and went 0 for 9 with runners in scoring position.“There was hard contact,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. “It’s not fair. There’s times when it’s not fair. You hit hard balls, you hit them right at people but you’ve just got to play man.”FACE IN THE CROWDSt. Louis Blues star Vladimir Tarasenko signed autographs on the field before the game.TRAINING ROOMCardinals: OF Marcell Ozuna (right shoulder inflammation) took batting practice Thursday and is on track to return from the 10-day disabled list when eligible on Sept. 1.UP NEXTPirates: RHP Jameson Taillon (10-9 C.C. Sabathia Jersey , 3.49 ERA) kicks off a three-game series on the road against the Atlanta Braves and RHP Anibal Sanchez (6-5, 3.05 ERA). Taillon has allowed three earned runs or fewer in his last 16 starts.Cardinals: LHP Austin Gomber (4-0, 2.79 ERA) will open a three-game home series Friday night against the Cincinnati Reds and RHP Homer Bailey (1-12, 6.17 ERA). The Cardinals are 6-0 when Gomber starts. CLEVELAND (AP) — The Boston Red Sox are trying to make history. The Cleveland Indians keep getting in the way.And after a highly competitive three-game series, the teams could see each other again next month with even more at stake.Greg Allen singled with one out and the bases loaded in the 11th inning and Cleveland defeated the Red Sox 4-3 on Sunday night to deny Boston’s bid for a club-record 106th victory for the second straight game.Allen singled through the left side on a 3-2 pitch from Robby Scott to give Cleveland an 11th inning win for the second night in a row.“If that game was in a couple of weeks, that’d be one for the ages,” manager Terry Francona said. “It’s going to be a late night, but it was a fun game.”William Cuevas (0-2) walked leadoff man Jose Ramirez, who moved to second on Rajai Davis‘ sacrifice. Shortstop Tzu-Wei Lin, who replaced the injured Xander Bogaerts in the seventh, booted Erik Gonzalez’s ground ball, sending Ramirez to third.Yandy Diaz, batting for Yonder Alonso, was intentionally walked to load the bases and set the stage for Allen’s winning hit. Michael Brantley’s bases-loaded single gave the AL Central winners a 5-4 victory in the 11th on Saturday night.Allen raced toward the outfield after he rounded first to avoid getting pounded by his teammates , a strategy that was unsuccessful.“I don’t think there’s any getting away from that,” he said. “In a time like that, when it’s celebratory, I really don’t want to get away from it. It was definitely fun.”Josh Tomlin (2-5) pitched two scoreless innings for the Indians, who won the after a 7-5 loss Friday.Mookie Betts homered and had four hits in his return to the lineup, but the Red Sox will also have to wait at least one more day before wrapping the home-field advantage throughout the postseason.Betts, who didn’t play Friday and Saturday, hit his 31st homer in the fifth to tie the game after Cleveland scored three times in the fourth. He had four hits, a three-run homer and five RBIs on Thursday against the New York Yankees when Boston clinched the AL East.Betts, who leads the majors with a .343 batting average, started the game with a double off the wall in left. He singled in the third and doubled again in the seventh.Betts played right field for the first time in a week. He’s been dealing with soreness in his left side and was the DH twice last week.“Hitting was never really the issue, it was just throwing,” Betts said. “Fortunately, I didn’t have to many any long throws Andy Pettitte Jersey , so today was a really good day.”Edwin Encarnacion got his 100th RBI of the season with a fourth-inning single, reaching the century mark for the fourth straight year.Melky Cabrera’s two-run double off Steven Wright put Cleveland ahead 3-2.Bogaerts was removed during his at-bat in the seventh inning because of a sore left shoulder. He fouled off a pitch and was visited by manager Alex Cora and a team trainer. Bogaerts walked to the dugout after a lengthy conversation and is listed as day to day.“I felt a pinch after I took an awkward swing, the last two swings actually,” he said. “It’s nothing now. I’m fine. There’s nothing wrong.”Right-hander Hector Velazquez started for Boston and gave up two runs in 3 1/3 innings.Cleveland starter Adam Plutko allowed three runs in six innings.SLUMPINGRamirez went 0 for 3 and is batting .174 (12 for 69) with one home run this month.NEARING THE ENDBoston also fell one win short of a club record for road victories with 51. The Red Sox finish with six games at Fenway Park beginning Monday against Baltimore. Boston hosts the Yankees for the final three games and will be at home to begin the Division Series.“We need to get home,” Cora said. “We’re going to be home for two weeks now, so it’s going to be fun.”Cleveland plays its final seven games on the road. The Indians begin a three-game series against the Chicago White Sox on Monday and play the last four in Kansas City.MOUND RETURNFrancona said Cody Allen will pitch Monday in Chicago. Allen hasn’t been in a game since Cleveland clinched the division Sept. 15 to rest in preparation for the postseason. He threw a bullpen session Saturday.TRAINER’S ROOMIndians: C Roberto Perez was removed from the game in the fifth with a bruised right shoulder.UP NEXTRed Sox: RHP Nathan Eovaldi (5-7, 3.98 ERA) takes on Orioles RHP Dylan Bundy (8-15, 5.37 ERA) in the three-game series opener in Boston.Indians: RHP Corey Kluber (19-7, 2.93 ERA) goes for his career-high 20th win of the season. RHP Dylan Covey (5-13, 5.33 ERA) starts for the White Sox.

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