Pittsburgh, PA (Sports Network) - Russell Martin hit a three-run home run and
A.J. Burnett pitched seven solid innings as the Pittsburgh Pirates grabbed the
lead in the NL Central with a 7-1 win.
Pittsburgh now leads the division by one game over St. Louis, with a chance to
extend the lead in Sunday's finale of this three-game set.
"We're heading in the right direction but we've got a long way to go," said
Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle. "One of the things I share with new players
coming in here is to fear nothing and respect everything and that's the way
we'll keep doing it."
Burnett (7-9) gave up a run on four hits and a walk with six strikeouts and
added an RBI single, while Neil Walker went 3-for-4 with an RBI for the
Pirates, who have won three of their last four.
Lance Lynn (13-9) was tagged for all seven runs on 10 hits and three walks in
just four innings of work for the Cardinals, who have dropped their past
three. Carlos Beltran drove in the only run of the game for the team.
"They hit a couple of the ball really hard against Lynn today," said St. Louis
manager Mike Matheny. "This was not what he was looking for when he went out
The Pirates got on the board in the second inning thanks to consecutive RBI
singles from Burnett and Jose Tabata for a 2-0 lead, but the Cardinals got one
back in the third off of Beltran's run-scoring base hit.
Pittsburgh, though, responded with a big bottom of the third to take over the
Pedro Alvarez led off with a double and quickly scored on a single from Marlon
Byrd. After Garrett Jones walked, Martin slammed a pitch over the wall in
right-center for his 13th homer of the season.
After the next two batters recorded outs, Tabata singled and scored on a
Walker triple for a 7-1 advantage.
St. Louis had just three baserunners after the third inning as Pittsburgh
cruised to the victory.
The Pirates have taken 10 of the 15 games against the Cardinals this season
... St. Louis batted 4-for-12 with runners in scoring position ... Joe Kelly
pitches for St. Louis in the finale on Sunday, while Kris Johnson counters for
The Sports Network