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Cardinals come from behind to beat Pirates, 5-4

Dilip Vishwanat

The Pirates grabbed an early 3-0 lead against the Cardinals, but couldn't hold on as St. Louis won 5-4 in the first game of a key NL Central series.

Neil Walker brought home two runs in the first with an RBI double, and then Andrew Lambo brought home another the following inning with a double of his own. From there, Gerrit Cole (who contributed to the Pirates' early outburst by scoring one of the runs in the second) only had to protect a three-run lead. But Matt Holliday doubled in two runs after Cole gave up a single to pitcher Lance Lynn and then a four-pitch walk in the third, making it a 3-2 game.

Andrew McCutchen padded the Pirates' modest lead with a ridiculous solo shot to left in the seventh, but the Cardinals responded in the bottom of the inning, as Pete Kozma singled and came home on Kolten Wong's two-run shot. (Wong only ever seems to homer against the Pirates, but in this case, that's not really Cardinal magic so much as it was just Cole missing his spot on a 1-2 fastball really badly.) Then Jon Jay tripled before Clint Hurdle finally pulled Cole. Out came John Axford, who gave up a walk and then a ground ball single to Holliday. That proved to be the difference, as the Pirates couldn't make anything happen against Carlos Martinez and Trevor Rosenthal in the late innings.