ST. LOUIS, SEPT. 29 -- The Pittsburgh Pirates today clinched a tie for their first National League East title since 1979, winning their sixth straight game as Bob Walk pitched a four-hitter to beat the St. Louis Cardinals, 8-0.
The Pirates' victory came less than an hour after second-place New York lost to Chicago, 3-2. One more Pittsburgh victory or Mets' loss will give the Pirates the title. They won the NL East, the league pennant and the World Series in 1979.
The Pirates and Mets each have four games remaining, including three against each other at Three Rivers Stadium. But Pittsburgh, behind Walk, moved closer to making that season-ending series meaningless.
Walk hit a run-scoring double, Bobby Bonilla got his 118th RBI and Sid Bream added his 14th homer as the Pirates matched their longest winning streak of the season and won for the ninth time in 10 games.
"We're excited about where we are but at the same time we know what we have to do," shortstop Jay Bell said in a subdued clubhouse. "We want to make sure we win this thing, then we'll jump for joy."
Walk (7-5), working on eight days' rest, gave up only four singles. He struck out four and walked two in his first complete game of the season and sixth career shutout.
Walk began the game 0-2 with a 5.17 ERA against St. Louis this season.
The Pirates got only four hits off Bob Tewksbury (10-9) in the first six innings, but bunched them in their three-run third on RBI singles by Wally Backman and Bonilla, and added an unearned run on an error by rookie center fielder Ray Lankford.