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      Cardinals avert 5-game sweep, trounce Pirates 13-0

      AP

      PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Joe Kelly and the St. Louis Cardinals averted a five-game sweep at Pittsburgh, ending a season-worst seven-game losing streak by routing the Pirates 13-0 Thursday night in a matchup between the NL's top two teams.

      St. Louis began the series with a 2 1/2-game lead in the NL Central but left with the Pirates ahead by 1 1/2 games. The Cardinals avoided their first sweep in a set of at least five games since 1916, when the New York Giants took all six games.

      Kelly (2-3) pitched six scoreless innings and had two hits. Tony Cruz added three hits, including a two-run double during an eight-run seventh inning.

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