The Pirates beat the St. Louis Cardinals 6-5 Monday night at PNC Park after a three-run eighth inning keyed by an unlikely hero.
The Cardinals took a 4-3 lead in the sixth on a two-run bomb to center by Albert Pujols, but the Pirates came screaming back in the eighth. Derrek Lee walked, and Ryan Doumit doubled home pinch-runner Chase D'Arnaud. Then came an intentional walk, and another walk, which led to a terrifying situation in which rarely-used, poor-hitting middle infielder Pedro Ciriaco came up with the bases loaded, two outs, and a tie game in the late innings. Surely, with rosters having expanded to 40, there was a way of avoiding an awful spot like that.
Well, it turned out that Ciriaco spiked a double down the right-field line, scoring two runners, and the Bucs went up 6-4. Strange, but true. Joel Hanrahan allowed a run in the ninth, but left two runners stranded to come away with a 6-5 win.
For more on the Pirates, check out Bucs Dugout.