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Cards ease to 6-1 win over Pirates

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Francisco Liriano struggled through a three-run 1st inning and the Pirates struggled to get hits that mattered.

Justin K. Aller

Liriano dominated the Cards throughout 2013, but he didn't have command of his pitches in a 33-pitch first inning.  His slider was consistently well out of the strike zone and a series of balls that weren't hit all that hard managed to find holes.  Liriano settled down after that, giving up just a solo HR to Yadier Molina over the next five innings.  Jeanmar Gomez pitched the last three innings, giving up a two-run HR to Jhonny Peralta in the 9th.

The Pirates had plenty of opportunities against Joe Kelly, getting six hits, four walks and a hit batsman in the first six innings.  Many of the runners came with two outs, though, and the hits were all singles.  The Pirates went 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position and stranded 11 total.  They did nothing once Kelly was gone, going hitless in three and two-thirds against three relievers.  Travis Snider had two hits and the Cards avoided a repeat performance from Pedro Alvarez by walking him three times.