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Pirates Vs. Cardinals: St. Louis Edges Pittsburgh To Extend Wild Card Lead

The St. Louis Cardinals defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates Monday night by a score of 4-3 to stretch their Wild Card lead over Pittsburgh to three games.

In what looked like a pitchers' duel early on, Kyle Lohse picked up the win, improving his record to a phenomenal 14-2. A.J. Burnett gets the loss after allowing three earned runs on seven hits in 5.2 innings. His record now stands at 15-5.

The Pirates got on the board first, scoring two runs in the fourth inning on an RBI single from Andrew McCutchen and a sacrifice fly off the bat of Josh Harrison.

The Cardinals quickly answered. After tossing four scoreless innings, Burnett finally slipped against the potent St. Louis offense, allowing two runs in the fifth with Skip Schumaker and Lohse picking up an RBI apiece. Luckily for the Pirates, the damage was limited when Lohse was thrown out trying to score on a double from Matt Carpenter. However, St. Louis quickly got on the scoreboard again with a Matt Holliday home run to lead off the sixth and, later in the inning, a run-scoring sacrifice fly by Yadier Molina to put the Cardinals ahead, 4-2.

Pittsburgh chipped away in the seventh with Josh Harrison scoring on a Clint Barmes double, but Jason Motte slammed the door shut, recording the final four outs to pick up his 31st save of the season. The two teams go at it again tomorrow, with Jake Westbrook starting on the hill for St. Louis and facing James McDonald for the Pirates.

For more on the Pirates, please be sure to check out our blog Bucs Dugout and SB Nation Pittsburgh for all the latest news and updates.

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