ST. LOUIS, MO - MAY 3: Starter Erik Bedard #45 of the Pittsburgh Pirates pitches against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium on May 3, 2012 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

Pirates Vs. Cardinals: Pittsburgh Avoids Sweep With Win On Thursday

Erik Bedard struck out 11 batters in five innings as the Pirates avoided a sweep against the Cardinals.

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Pirates Vs. Cardinals: Erik Bedard Strikes Out 11 In 6-3 Pittsburgh Win

The Pittsburgh Pirates' starting pitching was poor in the first two games of their series against the St. Louis Cardinals. but Erik Bedard was solid on Thursday as the Pirates avoided a series sweep with a 6-3 win. Bedard struck out 11 batters in five innings white the Pirates batters hit Jake Westbrook for four earned runs.

While Bedard was effective, he took 104 pitches to get through five innings and was relieved after the fifth by Jared Hughes. When Bedard finished the top of the 5th, the Pirates were down 2-1, but Pedro Alvarez hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the fifth to give the Pirates a 3-2 lead. They would stay in front for the duration of the game, helping Bedard to his second win in 2012.

The Pirates expanded their lead to 6-2 heading into the bottom of the 9th inning, when Joel Hanrahan came in to close things out. He got himself into a jam, allowing one run on an Allen Craig double with two on and one out that scored John Jay and moved David Freese to third. He would pitch himself out just one batter later, however, striking out pitch hitter Matt Carpenter to end the game and give Pittsburgh their 11th win of the year.

For more on the Pirates, check out Bucs Dugout. For more on the Cardinals, there's Viva El Birdos.

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Pirates Vs. Cardinals: Erik Bedard With 5 Strikeouts Through Five Innings, Pittsburgh Trails, 2-1

Pittsburgh Pirates starting Pitcher Erik Bedard has been lights out on the mound in Thursday afternoon's game between the Pirates and the St. Louis Cardinals striking out 11 batters through five innings, at one point striking out seven in a row. Despite that, the punchless Pirates have not provided any run support and Cardinals have the lead through five innings, 2-1.

Bedard started off a bit shaky in the first inning allowing runs on back-to-back doubles by David Freese and Allen Craig gave the Cardinals a quick 2-0 lead. Bedard then buckled down and started pitching great. The lone run by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the game was an RBI double by Clint Barmes scored Pedro Alvarez in the top of the fourth inning.

The Pirates also are without centerfielder Andrew McCutchen, who left in the fourth inning due to an illness. He has been replaced by Nate McClouth.

For more on the Pirates, check out Bucs Dugout. For more on the Cardinals, there’s Viva El Birdos.

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Pirates Vs. Cardinals Lineups: Carlos Beltran, Yadier Molina Sit In Series Finale

Here’s the Pirates’ lineup for Thursday’s 1:45 p.m. matchup against the St. Louis Cardinals:

Jose Tabata RF
Alex Presley LF
Andrew McCutchen CF
Neil Walker 2B
Pedro Alvarez 3B
Garrett Jones 1B
Clint Barmes SS
Michael McKenry C
Erik Bedard P

Catcher Rod Barajas gets another day off after being ejected early in Wednesday night’s game. (I wonder if the Pirates would be doing that if Barajas were hitting better; I doubt any Pirates fans will miss him.)

And here’s the lineup for the Cardinals:

Rafael Furcal SS
Jon Jay CF
Matt Holliday LF
David Freese 3B
Allen Craig 1B
Shane Robinson RF
Tyler Greene 2B
Tony Cruz C
Jake Westbrook P

Carlos Beltran and Yadier Molina get the day off for St. Louis. Catcher Tony Cruz will appear in his sixth game of the year.

For more on the Pirates, check out Bucs Dugout. For more on the Cardinals, there’s Viva El Birdos.

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Pirates Vs. Cardinals: Erik Bedard Tries To Stop Bleeding After Blowout Loss

The Pirates are coming off two straight losses, including a blowout Wednesday night in which A.J. Burnett allowed 12 runs in the first three innings. They’ll try to prevent the Cardinals from sweeping them as they complete the series Thursday afternoon at 1:45 p.m.

Erik Bedard pitches against Jake Westbrook. Bedard has pitched well all season and is coming off a five-inning, nine-strikeout effort in a win against the Braves. Westbrook has a 1.30 ERA so far this season, but he lost to the Pirates April 21 when Burnett pitched brilliantly against him.

After this series, the Bucs begin a long homestand, with series against the Reds, Nationals and Astros. They’re currently 10-14, and it would be nice if, with a win Thursday afternoon, they greatly increased their chances of finishing the homestand near .500.

For more on the Pirates, check out Bucs Dugout. For more on the Cards, there’s Viva El Birdos.

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Pirates Vs. Cardinals Final Score: St. Louis Pounds PIttsburgh 12-3

The St. Louis Cardinals jumped on top of the Pittsburgh Pirates early in the first inning, plating four runs to take a 4-0 lead thanks to a three-run home run by Carlos Beltran. Beltran himself outscored the Pirates on the night, finishing up going four for five with two home runs and seven RBI.

The Pirates just couldn't come back from the early damage the Cardinals lineup did while A.J. Burnett was laboring on the mound early in the game. By the end of the third inning, the Cardinals had taken a 12-1 lead off of Beltran's second home run of the game. The Pirates plated a couple of runs late, but it wasn't close to enough as the Pirates go down 12-3.

The Pirates drop two in a row against the Cards and will try to avoid the sweep on Thursday.

For more information on the Pittsburgh Pirates, check out the SB Nation blog Bucs Dugout. For a perspective on the team in the other dugout, check out the St. Louis Cardinals blogViva El Birdos. For more news throughout Major League Baseball, check out the SB Nation MLB Hub.

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Pirates Vs. Cardinals Score Update: St. Louis Jumps Out To 4-0 Lead

The St. Louis Cardinals couldn't put together many hits in their last matchup with the Pittsburgh Pirates when A.J. Burnett was on the mound, but in the second matchup against Burnett he struggled to get the Cardinals out in the top of the first inning. The first four batters in the Cardinals lineup each picked up a hit off Burnett and they each scored.

The first run was driven in by Matt Holliday, who singled to left field driving in Rafeal Furcal. The very next batter, Carlos Beltran, hit a bomb to left field for a three-run home run to give the Cardinals an early 4-0 lead in the first inning.

For more information on the Pittsburgh Pirates, check out the SB Nation blog Bucs Dugout. For a perspective on the team in the other dugout, check out the St. Louis Cardinals blogViva El Birdos. For more news throughout Major League Baseball, check out the SB Nation MLB Hub.

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Pirates Vs. Cardinals Lineups: Andrew McCutchen Gets Night Off

Here are the lineups for Wednesday’s 8:15 Pirates vs. Cardinals matchup in St. Louis.

Pirates:

Alex Presley LF
Nate McLouth CF
Jose Tabata RF
Neil Walker 2B
Pedro Alvarez 3B
Garrett Jones 1B
Clint Barmes SS
Rod Barajas C
A.J. Burnett P

Cardinals:

Rafael Furcal SS
Jon Jay CF
Matt Holliday LF
Carlos Beltran RF
David Freese 3B
Yadier Molina C
Matt Carpenter 1B
Daniel Descalso 2B
Lance Lynn P

Andrew McCutchen gets the night off for the Pirates, which automatically makes the Bucs’ lineup look a lot worse. But despite a triple in Tuesday night’s game, McCutchen’s offense has slowed recently, with his OPS dropping from .904 on April 18 to .750. The hot-hitting Pedro Alvarez, meanwhile, bats fifth.

Cardinals starter Lynn allowed one run and one walk while striking out four in seven innings in a win over the Pirates on April 20.

For more on the Pirates, check out Bucs Dugout. For more on the Cardinals, there’s Viva El Birdos.

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Pirates Vs. Cardinals Preview: A.J. Burnett Hopes To Outduel Lance Lynn In St. Louis

The Pittsburgh Pirates are looking to find some momentum. After scoring seven runs against the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday, A.J. Burnett takes the hill Wednesday night as the Pirates play the second of a three game series against the defending World Series champions.

Burnett is currently 1-1 with a 1.38 ERA. In his last start against the Atlanta Braves on April 27, he pitched six innings and allowed two runs on six hits, but also struck out eight batters.

The Cardinals send to the hill one of only two starting pitchers in the league to have four wins on the year in Lance Lynn. Lynn has defeated the Pirates once this year on April 20 where he went seven innings and allowed only one run on four hits.

The game is scheduled for an 8:15 first pitch from Busch Stadium in St. Louis. The game will be televised on Root Sports with radio coverage provided by KDKA-FM 93.7.

For more information on the Pittsburgh Pirates, check out the SB Nation blog Bucs Dugout. For a perspective on the team in the other dugout, check out the St. Louis Cardinals blogViva El Birdos. For more news throughout Major League Baseball, check out the SB Nation MLB Hub.

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Pirates Vs. Cardinals Recap: Pittsburgh Offense Produces Again, But Pitching And Defense Falter

After breaking out against the Braves to start the week, the Pittsburgh Pirate offense continued to produce on Tuesday in their series opener against the St. Louis Cardinals. But the Bucs defense and pitching did not hold up their end, as the Cards scored eight runs over a three-inning stretch while Clint Hurdle's club committed four errors. After Monday, it was the second most runs Pittsburgh scored all year but it still ended with a 10-7 loss.

Pittsburgh starter Charlie Morton was roughed up over his four-plus innings of work, allowing eight hits and five earned runs. He scuffled through the first four innings, but held the Cards to just two runs before the floodgates opened in fifth. World Series hero David Freese broke it open when he ripped a three-run shot to center to give St. Louis a 5-2 lead. Two batters later, Morton's night would be over after Allen Craig singled home Yadier Molina to make it 6-2.

The Pittsburgh offense, however, did not give in and chipped away at Adam Wainwright and a parade of Cards' relievers. Pedro Alvarez continued his red-hot week, hitting his fourth homer in seven days and going yard for the second straight night. Alvarez took Wainwright deep to right for a two-run shot that cut the lead to 7-4 in the top of the 7th.

St. Louis, however, would break it open again in the bottom of that same inning after a costly throwing error by catcher Rod Barajas, who threw wide of third on a double steal. Yadier Molina scampered home to make it 8-4. Jared Hughes then promptly coughed up a two-run shot to diminutive Rafael Furcal that put the Cards in double digits.

Undeterred, the Pittsburgh offense responded with three more runs in an interminable 8th inning. Garrett Jones singled home Andrew McCutchen and Jose Tabata. Alvarez then knocked in Jones with a sharp single to right, cutting the Cards lead back to just three. But Victor Marte, St. Louis' third pitcher of the inning, would induce a Nate McLouth groundout that ended the rally and gave way to the hard-throwing Jason Motte.

Motte slammed the door for a quick save, preserving the three-run win for St. Louis. With the offense, and particularly Alvarez, now rolling, the Bucs will look for a strong outing from A.J. Burnett in the second game of the series on Wednesday. The Cardinals will counter with the undefeated 4-0 Lance Lynn.

For more information on the Pittsburgh Pirates, check out the SB Nation blog Bucs Dugout. For a perspective on the team in the other dugout, check out the St. Louis Cardinals blogViva El Birdos. For more news throughout Major League Baseball, check out the SB Nation MLB Hub.

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Pirates Vs. Cardinals: Pittsburgh Opens A Three Game Series At St. Louis

The Pittsburgh Pirates hope to keep their offense running strong after their win Monday against Atlanta as they open a three game series with the defending champion St. Louis Cardinals

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