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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.

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