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Cardinals gift-wrap three-run homer for Ike Davis as Bucs win 5-2

Justin K. Aller

The Cardinals gave Ike Davis a favorable matchup with two men on in the eighth, and he smashed a changeup for a three-run homer to help the Pirates win 5-2.

Before that, Gerrit Cole was fantastic, taking a no-hitter into the sixth. There was no chance he'd actually get to compete it, since his pitch count was so high, but he was terrific, striking out nine. Meanwhile, the Pirates got a run in the fourth when Clint Barmes hit into a force out with the bases loaded, and another when Josh Harrison hit his 12th homer of the year to lead off the fifth.

Cole finally ran into trouble in the seventh. Matt Adams led off with a double, then moved to third on Jhonny Peralta's single. Then Tony Watson replaced Cole, and Jon Jay knocked Adams home with a sacrifice fly. Later in the inning, the newly recalled Randal Grichuk singled home Peralta to tie the game.

Disappointing. But in the eighth, righty Seth Maness gave up one-out singles to Gaby Sanchez and Starling Marte. Barmes then lined out, and Clint Hurdle sent Davis to pinch-hit for Watson. Mike Matheny left Maness out there, even though he had two lefties remaining in his bullpen and had one, Randy Choate, ready to go -- Tony La Russa must have been spinning in his grave (or Arizona, or whatever). Davis pounced on Maness, taking his mistake changeup to right center field to put the Pirates up by three.

Great win. Unfortunately, Andrew McCutchen left the game after making a catch and slamming his torso into the wall, appearing to hurt his already-ailing ribs. We'll find out more after the game about the seriousness of the injury.