ST. LOUIS -- Adam Wainwright passed a St. Louis legend in the record books and pushed the Cardinals back into first place in the wild National League Central race.
Bouncing back from two straight rough starts against Cincinnati, Wainwright allowed two hits in seven shutout innings on Saturday night as St. Louis beat Pittsburgh 5-0 at sold-out Busch Stadium.
Wainwright (16-9) retired the last 11 men he faced, striking out the last four. He walked two and fanned eight as he tied Washington's Jordan Zimmerman and Colorado's Jorge De La Rosa for the league lead in wins. Wainwright's first strikeout enabled him to pass Dizzy Dean for second in franchise history with 1,096.
David Freese knocked in two runs for the Cardinals (82-60), including a solo homer in the sixth, his eighth home run of the year. Pinch-hitter Daniel Descalso added an RBI single in the eighth as St. Louis regained a half-game lead over the Pirates.
Jeff Locke (9-5) absorbed the loss despite yielding just three hits and two earned runs in five innings. But he walked four and hit a batter, and his wildness led to runs in the fourth and fifth innings.
It was the third straight loss for the Pirates (81-60), which still need one victory to clinch their first winning season since 1992, the last time they made the playoffs.
St. Louis got on the board in the bottom of the fourth with two runs. Carlos Beltran led off with a walk, moved to third on Yadier Molina's double into the right field corner and scored on Freese's sacrifice fly to deep left.
Molina advanced to third on a wild pitch when Brock Peterson struck out and Pete Kozma brought him in with an infield single, just his second hit in 36 at-bats.
The Cardinals made it 3-0 in the fifth when Matt Holliday's bouncer to Pirates shortstop Clint Barmes scored Matt Carpenter, who was plunked to start the inning. Barmes' two-base throwing error on Shane Robinson's bouncer set up the run.
Pittsburgh's best chance to score in the first five innings came in the fourth when Andrew McCutchen led off with a double and Justin Morneau walked. But Marlon Byrd bounced into a 6-3 double play and Pedro Alvarez whiffed on three straight curves to end the threat.
NOTES: Pittsburgh activated OF Starling Marte (right hand contusion) off the 15-day disabled list, although Marte still can't swing a bat. He could be used for pinch-running and late-inning defense. Marte leads the team with 35 stolen bases. ... The Pirates called up RHP Brandon Cumpton from Triple-A Indianapolis, which was eliminated from the International League playoffs on Friday night, and designated RHP James McDonald for assignment after activating him off the 60-day DL. ... When Molina belted a three-run homer in the seventh inning on Friday night, it was the Cardinals' fourth homer in 17 games against Pittsburgh and their first since hitting three on April 26.