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The Sweepening: Cardinals clobber Pirates again

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Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Not too much to write home (or to the blog readers) about in this one. The Cardinals got a bunch of hits and took a big lead on Jon Niese, the Pirates kinda-sorta threatened once or twice but didn't really mount much of a threat and the final few innings were played in front of a steadily thinning crowd, ending in an 8-3 loss and a series sweep by St. Louis.

Matt Holliday put the Cardinals up, 1-0, right away with a solo hone run in the first. The Cards added three more in the third, featuring a Mike Leake leadoff single and an RBI double by Stephen Piscotty.

The Pirates pulled within 4-2 in the bottom of the fourth. David Freese's infield single scored John Jaso, and Starling Marte singled home Gregory Polanco, but Freese got caught in between second and third when the throw home was cut off, limiting the Pirates' potential output that inning.

The Cardinals blew it open in the sixth, taking an 8-2 lead. With two on, Yadier Molina singled home Piscotty, and Marte's throw home kicked off Erik Kratz and into the Cardinals' dugout, allowing Jhonny Peralta to saunter home. Brandon Moss singled home Molina, then Randal Grichuk smacked a solo homer for good measure.

Niese had the ugly line of eight runs on 11 hits in 5 1-3 innings, though he struck out five and walked one.

The Pirates added one more run in the bottom of the seventh, but whatever.

Between injuries and home losses, this was as ugly a weekend the Pirates have had in recent memory, with everything snowballing when a couple lucky wins may have lessened the blow of the bad health news. The longer view doesn't necessarily promise roses and butterflies and whatnot, but one weekend in June, as bad as it was, isn't going to sink this team, either.