Willie McGee singled home Vince Coleman with the go-ahead run in the eighth inning to help the first-place St. Louis Cardinals score a 3-1 victory and a doubleheader sweep of the Pittsburgh Pirates Monday.
In the first game, John Tudor won for the 18th time in his last 19 decisions as the Cardinals took advantage of seven Pittsburgh errors for an 8-4 victory.
The sweep put the Cardinals, winners of five straight games, 1 1/2 games ahead of the New York Mets in the National League East. The Mets played the Philadelphia Phillies in New York Monday night.
With the score tied 1-1 in the second game, Coleman led off the eighth with a double off Pat Clements, 0-2, and scored when McGee punched a single through the right side. Terry Pendleton’s run-scoring single gave the Cardinals an insurance run.
Pat Perry, 1-0, earned his first major league victory by retiring R.J. Reynolds on a fly ball with the bases loaded in the seventh and then pitching two more hitless innings.
Andy Van Slyke, Pendleton and Tom Herr each drove in two runs in the opener to back Tudor, 19-8. The loss was the 10th straight for Pittsburgh starter Jose DeLeon. Tudor’s streak of 31 scoreless innings ended with Bill Almon’s fourth-inning grand slam.
The Pirates took a 1-0 lead in the fifth inning of the second game when Denny Gonzalez singled, took second on a bunt, advanced to third on an infield out and scored on Pirate starter Rick Rhoden’s infield single.
The Cardinals tied the score with a two-out rally in the sixth. McGee walked, stole second, took third on Herr’s single and scored on Rhoden’s wild pitch.