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Pittsburgh Pirates Vs. St. Louis Cardinals: Bucs Win Opener 2-1

The Pittsburgh Pirates got off to a good start in their weekend series against the St. Louis Cardinals, winning 2-1 on the road. The two teams are neck and neck in the wild card standings and the win was certainly a much-needed one for the Pirates, who have just come off a rough series against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Just as important as the victory was the start by Pirates pitcher James McDonald. The team's best starter in the first half of the season had struggled mightily after the All-Star break. But on Friday, he had easily his best start in a while, pitching six scoreless innings while striking out seven and giving up only two hits.

Cardinals' pitcher Jake Westbrook was equally impressive, going 7 2/3 innings, giving up only one earned run. Neither team produced much offense, but the Pirates had just enough.

Pirates' reliever Joel Hanrahan picked up the save.

For more on the Pirates, head over to Bucs Dugout.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.