Cardinals bust slump by blasting Pirates 17-4

Marcell Ozuna drove in four runs to lead the St. Louis Cardinals to a 17-4 win against the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates in the opener of their four-game series on Thursday night.

It was the most runs scored by the Cardinals without hitting a home run since an 18-3 win against the Atlanta Braves on Aug. 22, 2008.

Dexter Fowler had two hits and three RBIs, Yadier Molina and Paul Goldschmidt each had three hits and two RBIs, and Kolten Wong had two hits and two RBIs for St. Louis, which had lost six of seven.

Cardinals starter Michael Wacha improved to 3-0 for the first time since 2015, throwing 5 2/3 innings and allowing four runs and nine hits. He struck out two and walked one.

Gregory Polanco doubled twice, homered and drove in three runs for the Pirates.

Pittsburgh starter Joe Musgrove (1-4) allowed a season-high eight earned runs in three innings. He gave up six hits, walked five and struck out three in losing his third straight outing.

After not allowing an earned run in his first 18 1/3 innings this season into his fourth appearance and third start, Musgrove has allowed 13 earned runs in his past two starts covering 5 2/3 innings.

Musgrove walked the leadoff batter in three of the first four innings and each time the player scored.

Polanco gave Musgrove a 1-0 lead when he homered with two outs in the first, but Musgrove got into trouble after walking Ozuna to start the second and third innings.

Fowler’s two-run, ground-rule double in the second broke a 1-1 tie, and two outs later Goldschmidt followed with a two-out single to center to drive in Fowler for his first RBI since April 23.

The Pirates got a run back in the third on Polanco’s RBI double to make it 4-2.

Fowler drove in Ozuna in the bottom half of the inning with a single to right, and Molina later scored on a fielder’s choice groundout by Wong to make it 6-2.

The Cardinals blew the game open with five runs in the fourth inning and five more in the sixth, highlighted by Ozuna’s three-run double that made it 16-4.