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Pirates down Cardinals 6-3, earn split of series

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MLB: St. Louis Cardinals at Pittsburgh Pirates Brett Carlsen-USA TODAY Sports

The Pirates scored 6 or more runs for the fifth straight game, while holding the opposition under 7 for the first time in the stretch, winning 6-3, to salvage a series split with the Cardinals in a game played in Williamsport, Pa., for the inaugural MLB Little League Classic.

In front of 2500 Little League players and their families, the game was seldom in doubt as Josh Bell drove in four runs with a two-run homer in the first and a two-run ground single in the third, both off Cardinal starter Mike Leake, who allowed all six runs on eight hits in his three innings of work.

Meanwhile Ivan Nova scattered eight hits in five and two thirds innings, allowing all three of the Cardinals runs, two of them on a Jedd Gyorko homer in the second inning.

A.J. Schugel, Dovydas Neverauskas, Juan Nicasio and Felipe Rivero shutdown the Redbirds the rest of the way. Rivero did make things interesting in the ninth, allowing a walk and a single to bring Paul DeJong, St. Louis’ leading homerun hitter, to the plate as the tying run with two outs in the ninth, but DeJong fly out to center fielder Andrew McCutchen to end the game.