Luke Weaver pitched shutout ball into the sixth inning and also drove in a run Friday night, helping the St. Louis Cardinals improve their postseason hopes with a 4-1 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The Cardinals have won seven of nine, pulling within four games of the NL Central-leading Cubs. St. Louis is even closer in the chase for the second wild-card spot.

The Pirates have lost three in a row.

Waver (5-1) has won four straight decisions, not allowing more than two runs in any of them. He gave up seven hits, walked none and struck out seven in 5 2/3 innings.

Weaver drove in the Cardinals' first run with a broken-bat groundout and scored a run.

Juan Nicasio made his St. Louis debut and got four outs for his third. The Cardinals got him from Philadelphia for a minor leaguer earlier in the week.

Nicasio pitched most of the season with Pittsburgh before being plucked off waivers by the Phillies in late August. He spent just six days with the Phillies, appearing in two games.

Trevor Williams (6-8) allowed four runs in 4 2/3 innings.

More From KHMO-AM 1070, News-Talk-Sports