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Pedro Ciriaco An Unlikely Hero In 6-5 Win Over Cardinals

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The Pirates have had an awful time recently, but they squeaked out a tough win against the Cardinals Monday night, 6-5.

The game was tied at two in the fifth when Neil Walker banged a double off the Clemente Wall to bring home Alex Presley and put the Bucs ahead 3-2. Unfortunately, Albert Pujols hit a two-run bomb in the sixth on what was, honestly, not that bad a pitch by Brad Lincoln - it was low, and Pujols still managed to hit it about 400 feet to center.

In the bottom of the eighth, Derrek Lee walked with one out and Chase D'Arnaud came in to pinch-run. Ryan Doumit then doubled to right, bringing home D'Arnaud to tie the game. Then the Cardinals intentionally walked Ryan Ludwick. Then Josh Harrison pinch-hit for Pedro Alvarez, and if that doesn't turn out to be the most pathetic moment of Alvarez's career, I'm not sure I want to see any more of it. (Harrison struck out.) Jason Jaramillo then walked, bringing up ... Pedro Ciriaco, with the bases loaded, two outs, and the score tied. Now, if you're wondering how in the world the Pirates didn't have a better option than Pedro Ciriaco available given that it wasn't an extra-inning game and rosters have expanded, well, you're not alone. But sure enough, Ciriaco smacked a hanging breaking ball down the first-base line, and the Pirates took a two-run lead.

Joel Hanrahan allowed a run in the ninth, but left runners on second and third to preserve a 6-5 win.