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Bullpen fuels Cards' 5-game winning streak

ST. LOUIS -- Reliever Carlos Villanueva didn't want to hear about it, but the inevitable questions came anyway after five more scoreless innings by the Cardinals' bullpen Saturday against the Pirates.

Cardinals relievers have now pitched 20 consecutive scoreless innings, spanning five games. The bullpen's latest effort helped the Cardinals complete a 2-1 comeback win over the Pirates.

"It's good to come out on the positive side," Villanueva said. "We don't read too much into streaks and innings like that, because it's going to come a time when it's going to be probably the other way around. So what we have to do is try to keep the game as it is when we come in, and we did a good job of that. I know we had a lot of traffic out there, but what matter is that that traffic doesn't advance. Keep bringing the boys back in the dugout and give them a chance to do what they did again today."

Villanueva has been front and center during the run, which has helped fuel a five-game winning streak for the Cardinals. Villanueva has collected two wins in that span, pitching 3 2/3 innings of relief against the Phillies on Thursday and pitching another inning against the Pirates on Saturday.

Randy Choate, Kevin Siegrist, Trevor Rosenthal, Seth Maness, Matt Belisle, Jordan Walden and Mitch Harris have also contributed to the success.

But the only thing the relievers are thinking about is wins.

"As you start getting caught up in that, that's when you overthink things," Villanueva said. "So for us, it's any given day. It starts at zero. You can be the hero today and the goat tomorrow. If we give up one or two and we still win, that's what we care about."

Joe Harris is a contributor to
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