- Sports & Recreation
- Pedro Alvarez
- Gerrit Cole
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By Bucky Dent, The Sports Xchange October 4, 2013 4:24 PM
ST. LOUIS -- Gerrit Cole lived up to his Thursday vow to "pitch angry," and Pittsburgh is heading back home happy. The rookie right-hander limited the St. Louis Cardinals to two hits and a run over six powerful innings Friday as the Pirates evened their best-of-five National League Division Series at 1-1 with a 7-1 win at Busch Stadium. Pittsburgh now gets the next two games at noisy PNC Park, starting Sunday with its ace, Francisco Liriano, going up against the Cardinals' Joe Kelly. For that, it can thank Cole, the top overall pick in the 2011 Major League draft out of UCLA. Throwing 100 mph fastballs as late as the sixth inning, Cole walked just one and fanned five. His only real hiccup came in the fifth when Yadier Molina drilled a leadoff homer to right-center, one of the few times that a sellout crowd of 45,999 had a chance to cheer. By that time, the Pirates were already in control, thanks in large part to Pedro Alvarez's early dominance of St. Louis starter Lance Lynn. Alvarez ripped a one-out ground-rule double in the second and scored the first run when Cole, batting after a two-out intentional walk to Jordy Mercer, slapped an RBI single to center. An inning later, Alvarez homered for the second time in as many games, a two-run bolt to center field that plated Justin Morneau for a 3-0 lead. Pittsburgh knocked Lynn out in the fifth when it expanded its lead to 5-0. Morneau and Marlon Byrd laced consecutive doubles, followed by a walk to Alvarez. Russell Martin greeted reliever Seth Maness with a run-scoring single to left. Lynn allowed seven hits and five runs, all earned, over 4 1/3 innings. He walked three and fanned six, but failed to make it out of the fifth inning for his fourth straight postseason start. The Pirates tacked on single runs in the seventh and eighth. Martin's sacrifice fly scored Byrd, who reached when third baseman David Freese misplayed a popup into a two-base error, to make it 6-1 in the seventh. Starling Marte cracked a leadoff homer off Shelby Miller in the eighth to finish the scoring. NOTES: St. Louis manager Mike Matheny announced Friday that he will start rookie RHP Michael Wacha opposite Pittsburgh's Charlie Morton in Game 4 of the NLDS on Monday. Matheny cited Wacha's recent starts, which include a near no-hitter Sept. 24 against Washington, as his reason. ... Another factor could have been the struggles of Miller against the Pirates, who beat him four times this season. Against everyone else, Miller went 15-6, winning more games than any Cardinal rookie since Dick Hughes notched 16 in 1967. ... Pittsburgh made a change in its Game 2 lineup at shortstop, opting for Mercer over slick-fielding but poor-hitting Clint Barmes. Mercer hit .285 with eight homers and 27 RBIs in the regular season, and was 1-for-3 Friday.