Pirates Vs. Cardinals: Cards Win Sunday To Avoid Sweep

The Pirates lost 5-4 Sunday, just missing out on a sweep of the Cardinals.

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11 Total Updates since June 29, 2012
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Pirates Vs. Cardinals Recap: Michael McKenry's Blast Isn't Enough As Cardinals Avoid Sweep

The Pirates missed out on a sweep of the St. Louis Cardinals Sunday, losing the final game of the series 5-4.

The Cardinals took an early 3-0 lead thanks to homers by Yadier Molina and Allen Craig, while the Pirates failed to take advantage of scoring opportunities in the first few innings.

The Bucs took the lead in the fourth, however, when Clint Barmes hit an RBI single and Michael McKenry blasted a three-run homer. The Cardinals retook the lead in a two-run fifth inning that was keyed by Matt Holliday's RBI double. The Bucs didn't score after that, despite putting two men on in the sixth and leading off with two hits in the eighth.

Jake Westbrook allowed four runs in six innings but picked up the win. He struck out six batters and walked one.

Pedro Alvarez left the game in the eighth, but it appears his injury is not serious -- it's merely a cramp. Andrew McCutchen sat out with a wrist injury, but that injury likewise appears not to be serious.

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

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2012 MLB All-Star Rosters: Andrew McCutchen And Joel Hanrahan Named Reserves

Andrew McCutchen and Joel Hanrahan will both represent the Pittsburgh Pirates at the MLB All-Star Game for the second consecutive year.

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Pirates Vs. Cardinals: Andrew McCutchen Held Out Of Sunday's Lineup

Andrew McCutchen is being held out of the Pirates' lineup on Sunday as a precautionary measure.

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Pirates Vs. Cardinals: Bucs Go For Sweep

The Pirates will try to continue their recent trend of brilliant baseball as they complete their series in sweltering St. Louis Sunday afternoon (2:15).

The Bucs finished the month of June with a 17-10 record. That included consecutive victories against the Cardinals on Friday and Saturday, with the Pirates piling up 14 runs in the first game and winning 7-3 on Saturday thanks in part to a Pedro Alvarez grand slam. They'll hunt for a sweep on Sunday.

On Sunday, Erik Bedard faces Jake Westbrook. The matchup looks somewhat favorable to the Cardinals, given that Bedard has faded since a brilliant April (with a 2.48 ERA that month, versus 6.58 in June). Westbrook, meanwhile, has pitched fairly well recently, picking up a quality start in his last outing, against Miami, and pitching a complete game against the Tigers right before that. But with the way the Pirates' offense has played recently, one never knows.

Bedard has 998 career strikeouts, so there's a strong chance he'll record his 1,000th career strikeout Sunday.

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

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Pirates Tied Atop N.L. Wild-Card Standings With Dodgers, Mets

On Friday and Saturday at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, the Pittsburgh Pirates (42-35) have looked as good as they have all season, tacking on 14 runs and seven runs in the two games, respectively, both wins over the host Cardinals. Now, the Bucs find themselves atop the wild-card standings in the National League, tied with the New York Mets and Los Angeles Dodgers, who are both 43-36 overall on the year thus far.

Pittsburgh is currently riding a four-game winning streak, including wins in seven of their last 10 games. Meanwhile, the Mets have won four games in a row and the Dodgers have dropped seven consecutive contests, including a 5-0 loss to New York on Saturday afternoon in Los Angeles.

The Pirates, who are also just one game back of the Cincinnati Reds in the N.L. Central, face the Cardinals in the series finale on Sunday at 2:15 p.m. EST.

Read more about the Pirates at Bucs Dugout and check out Viva El Birdos for more on the Cardinals. Baseball Nation is your source for news and analysis around Major League Baseball.

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Pirates Vs. Cardinals Final: Pittsburgh Gets Going Early, Defeats St. Louis 7-3

The Pittsburgh Pirates hung 14 runs on the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday night and they continued their hot streak by scoring seven more runs in defeating the Cards, 7-3.

The Bucs got going early in the top of the first inning by putting four runs on the board. They would add two more in the top of the fifth and their final run in the top of the ninth inning.

Third baseman Pedro Alvarez was solely responsible for Pittsburgh's early 4-0 lead as he hit a grand slam off pitcher Lance Lynn who had a rough outing on Saturday afternoon going five complete innings while giving up seven hits and six of the Pirates seven earned runs.

The Pirates will wrap up their three game set on Sunday with the Cardinals before heading back to Pittsburgh for a long homestand.

Read more about the Pirates at Bucs Dugout and check out Viva El Birdos for more on the Cardinals. Baseball Nation is your source for news and analysis around Major League Baseball.

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Pirates Vs. Cardinals Game 2 Lineups: St. Louis Shuffles Bullpen For Saturday Contest

The Pittsburgh Pirates look to duplicate their offensive performance of Friday night when they take on the Lance Lynn and the St. Louis Cardinals in game two of a three game weekend set. After a 14-5 win on Friday night, Pittsburgh has scored 139 runs in June, the most in the major leagues.

Prior to Saturday's game, St. Louis sent down relievers Eduardo Sanchez and Sam Freeman, replacing them with Maikel Cleto and Barret Browning.

Lineups for both teams, via @BucsDugout.

The Pirates' lineup:

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

Cardinals:

Skip Schumaker 2B
Jon Jay CF
Matt Holliday LF
Carlos Beltran RF
Allen Craig 1B
David Freese 3B
Daniel Descalso SS
Tony Cruz C
Lance Lynn P

Read more about the Pirates at Bucs Dugout and check out Viva El Birdos for more on the Cardinals. Baseball Nation is your source for news and analysis around Major League Baseball.

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Pirates Vs. Cardinals: Pittsburgh Looks To Continue Power Surge Against St. Louis

The Pittsburgh Pirates (41-35) continued their June slugging ways on Friday night, defeating division rival St. Louis 14-5. The Pirates now have 38 home runs in June, tops in the National League. Pittsburgh has scored 139 runs in the month, which leads the majors.

The Pirates will send Jeff Karstens (0-2, 6.35 ERA) to the hill on Saturday. It will be the right-hander's second start since missing two months with shoulder inflammation. Karstens went 0-1 with a 7.36 ERA in four games against the Cardinals (40-37) last year.

Lance Lynn (10-3, 3.23 ERA) takes the mound for St. Louis on Saturday. Lynn has won both his starts against the Pirates this season, allowing just three runs in 13 2/3 innings.

First pitch is scheduled for is scheduled for 2:15 p.m. EST at Busch Stadium in St. Louis.

Read more about the Pirates at Bucs Dugout and check out Viva El Birdos for more on the Cardinals. Baseball Nation is your source for news and analysis around Major League Baseball. Also subscribe to the SB Nation Youtube channel for video commentary.

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Pirates Vs. Cardinals Recap: Bucs Offense Busts Out For 14-5 Win

The Pittsburgh Pirates clinched their third straight win on Friday night by blowing out the St. Louis Cardinals in the opening game of a weekend series. The Bucs offense exploded for 19 hits and four homers in a 14-5 rout of the Birds. Pittsburgh chased St. Louis starter Adam Wainwright in the sixth, putting seven runs on the board with 11 hits. With the Bucs trailing 5-2, Pedro Alvarez would even it up in the top of the fifth on one swing. Alvarez ripped a Wainwright offering to the gap in right center for a bases-clearing double. Neil Walker, Garrett Jones, and Andrew McCutchen would score.

Wainwright came out for the sixth with the game tied and Clint Barmes immediately made him pay, leading off the inning with a solo homer to left center. Alex Presley compounded the damage and made it back-to-back jacks with a pinch-hit bomb to right. Wainwright's night was over, but the Bucs big inning was not. Eduardo Sanchez came on in relief and retired the first two batters he faced. But the middle of the order would strike again, as McCutchen singled and Jones followed with two-run homer to right field to push the lead to 9-5.

Leading 11-5 in the ninth, McCutchen would add to the fun with a three-run jack of his own off Marc Rzepczynski. It capped a monster night for the Bucs' cleanup hitter. McCutchen went four for five at the dish, scoring four runs and driving in three RBIs.

The win put Pittsburgh a game and half ahead of St. Louis in the standings. Jeff Karstens will make his second start on Saturday after returning to the rotation this week. He was roughed up in his first outing since April but he has an opportunity to clinch the series against Lance Lynn.

Read more about the Pirates at Bucs Dugout and check out Viva El Birdos for more on the Cardinals. Baseball Nation is your source for news and analysis around Major League Baseball.

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Pirates Vs. Cardinals Game 1 Lineup: Pittsburgh Sending Out Kevin Correia To Pitch Against St. Louis

The Pittsburgh Pirates and St. Louis Cardinals are in second and third place within a tight N.L. Central race and for the first game of the series the Pirates are sending out Kevin Correia to pitch while the Cardinals are bringing out Adam Wainwright.

Correia has been strong over his last two starts where he is 1-0 with a 1.59 ERA, while Wainwright has gone 2-1 with a 1.24 ERA over his last four starts at Busch Stadium, but is winless over his last two.

The Pirates are making a few lineup adjustments in Friday's game with Neil Walker moving down in the order to bat fifth and Jose Tabata is back in the lineup batting second and in right field. Catcher Rod Barajas is getting the call behind home plate to Michael McKenry a night off.

Pirates lineup:
1. Drew Sutton LF
2. Jose Tabata RF
3. Andrew McCutchen CF
4. Garrett Jones 1B
5. Neil Walker 2B
6. Pedro Alvarez 3B
7. Rod Barajas C
8. Clint Barmes SS
9. Kevin Correia P

Cardinals lineup
1. Rafael Furcal SS
2. Jon Jay CF
3. Matt Holliday LF
4. Carlos Beltran RF
5. Allen Craig 1B
6. Yadier Molina C
7. David Freese 3B
8. Daniel Descalso 2B
9. Adam Wainwright P

Read more about the Pirates at Bucs Dugout and check out Viva El Birdos for more on the Cardinals. Baseball Nation is your source for news and analysis around Major League Baseball.

Check out the SB Nation Channel on YouTube

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Pirates Vs. Cardinals: Pittsburgh In Tight NL Central Race

The Pirates head to St. Louis for three games against the Cardinals in a series that will have a large impact on the NL Central play.

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