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Jung Ho Kang homers twice in return as Pirates win 4-2

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Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

A few quick notes on tonight's game, which I'm just now catching up on:

Francisco Liriano pitched seven strong innings, striking out ten, but the man of the night was Jung Ho Kang, who belted two homers in his 2016 debut. The first of those came in the sixth, by which point the Bucs already were up 1-0 and had Gregory Polanco on. Tyler Lyons was pitching in place of Carlos Martinez, who'd exited early due to what the Cardinals described as "fatigue," and Lyons left a two-seamer up for Kang to smash to the opposite field.

The Cardinals got two runs back in the seventh, but Kang wasn't done. With two outs and none on in the eighth, Kang pulled a Kevin Siegrist four-seamer to deep left, and it entered the upper deck in the blink of an eye.

Tony Watson and Mark Melancon took over from there, and the Pirates improved their record this season against the hated Cardinals to 4-0. Perhaps even more important than the win, though, was Kang's terrific debut. The Pirates' group of position players got on just fine without him, but he should be able to help them sustain their hot start.