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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.

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