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The Pittsburgh Pirates headed into tonight’s series with the St. Louis Cardinals with a chance to show where they are at amongst the division’s best.  After losing an early 2-0 lead, the offense exploded for a total of 19 hits and 12 unanswered runs to top the Cardinals 14-5.

The Buccos hit the ground running again tonight with two runs in the first.  A Neil Walker single would bring home Jose Tabata and Andrew McCutchen.  They would hold the lead until the bottom of the third when the Cards would score four runs to take a 5-2 lead. St. Louis would not score for the rest of the night.

In the fifth inning Pedro Alvarez cleared the bases with a double to tie the game.  The sixth inning would see another explosion as four more runs would cross the plate.  Clint Barmes, Alex Presley, and Garrett Jones would hit homers to give the Pirates a 9-5 lead.  The eighth inning would see Casey McGhee single home Brad Lincoln and then with the bases loaded Alvarez would be walked to score another run.

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The final three runs of the game came in the ninth, when McCutchen would blast a three run home run to put the final nail in the Cardinals coffin.  Great to see this offense come alive once again tonight.  If they are able to produce with more consistency on a nightly basis it would huge as the team looks to make a run over the final three months.

The pitching was good again tonight.  Kevin Correia started for Pittsburgh, and while his final line wasn’t great, five innings, five runs on six hits, with two walks and three strikeouts, he stopped the bleeding after a rough third and gave his offense a chance to swing the bats.  Lincoln pitched three innings out of the bullpen and showed how valuable his arm is out of the pen in giving up one hit and striking out four.  Chris Resop pitched the ninth allowing one hit and striking out a batter.

A big start to a big series for the Pirates, and while I do not see a team like the Cardinals having another bad game like this over the next two, this shows that if you make mistakes, the Buccos will make you pay.  Jeff Karstens will pitch for Pittsburgh, while St. Louis will counter with Lance Lynn.  It should be a hot one at Busch Stadium tomorrow with a 2:15 start.

Record vs. Cardinals:  3-4

Record vs. N.L. Central:  15-10

Record on the Road:  18-22

Overall Record:  41-35

 

And…

As Always…

Let’s Go Bucs!

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