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.