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Pirates turn triple play, overcome disaster to beat Cardinals

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Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

That went from fun to awful and back to fun.

The Pirates turned the first 4-5-4 triple play in Major League history, overcame a five-run fourth inning by the Cardinals with two three-run innings of their own and beat St. Louis for the first time this season, 7-5.

In the second inning, Yadier Molina lined out sharply to Neil Walker, who picked Jhonny Peralta off of third base. Jung-Ho Kang threw back to second to get Jason Heyward.

The Pirates took a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the inning, with doubles by Vance Worley (!!!) and Gregory Polanco.

It was all good.

After an uneventful third inning, Sean Rodriguez replaced Starling Marte in left field to start the fourth.

Worley couldn't get anybody out in the fourth. The Cardinals rapped five hits, drew two walks and hit a sacrifice fly, taking a 5-3 lead. Given the opponent and the state of affairs, it felt more like 15-3.

Worley rebounded and got through the fifth inning. Then, just as planned before the season, the bullpen was terrific, as Rob Scahill, Jared Hughes, Tony Watson and Mark Melancon pitched four scoreless innings.

The Pirates pulled within one on Walker's solo home run (just after Polanco got caught stealing, actually). They struck for three more, chasing Cardinals starter Carlos Martinez in the sixth. Jordy Mercer crushed a two-run double that was inches away from being a grand slam.

All in all, a pretty encouraging night. The offense looked good again, getting hits from seven of the starters, and Rodriguez, putting up a crooked number against a solid pitcher for the second night in a row. Kang started and went 2-for-4. The bullpen was in shutdown mode. Even Worley was OK, outside of one awful inning. (OK, that last one was a bit of a stretch. But Charlie Morton is on his way.) Significant problems for Marte would be a huge blow, but there's enough reason to be hopeful this was an isolated event.

Suddenly, everyone's happy and the Pirates have the chance to take a series from the Cardinals on Sunday.