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Pirates take over first with Game 1 win

The SportsXchange

PITTSBURGH -- The St. Louis Cardinals' longest skid of the season has enabled the Pittsburgh Pirates to move past them and into first place in the National League Central standings.

Alex Presley's RBI single in the bottom of the 11th inning gave the Pirates a 2-1 win over the Cardinals on Tuesday in the first game of a doubleheader at PNC Park.

The Pirates (63-42) have won the first two games of the five-game series to move a half-game in front of the Cardinals (62-42) and now have the best record in the NL despite going just 10-10 since July 6.

St. Louis lost its fifth straight game, its longest losing streak since May 29-June 3, 2012.

With one out in the 11th, Russell Martin and pinch-hitter Gaby Sanchez drew back-to-back walks from Kevin Siegrist (0-1). Presley, who was recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis on Monday, then hit a bouncer that deflected off Siegrist's glove and into center field, enabling Martin to score.

Vin Mazzaro (6-3) pitched one scoreless inning for the win. Presley had two of Pittsburgh's six hits.

Both starting pitchers were outstanding, though they didn't factor in the decision.

Pittsburgh's A.J. Burnett allowed one run and three hits in seven innings with three walks and nine strikeouts. St. Louis' Lance Lynn gave up one run and three hits in six innings while striking out seven and walking two.

Burnett has not won in five starts since coming off the disabled list July 7 despite having a 2.08 ERA in that span, as he has received just 11 runs of support.

Matt Holliday had two of the Cardinals' six hits.

The Cardinals had an excellent chance to push across the winning run in the 10th inning with runners on first and third and one out. However, shortstop Clint Barmes ranged to his right to snare Holliday's grounder and start an inning-ending double play.

Back-to-back doubles by Andrew McCutchen and Pedro Alvarez with two outs in the first inning enabled Pittsburgh to score the game's first run.

St. Louis tied it in the third when Pete Kozma led off with a double and later scored on Holliday's groundout.

St. Louis center fielder Jon Jay's errorless games streak ended at 245, a club record for a Cardinals outfielder, in the fifth inning when he bobbled a single by Starling Marte, allowing him to take an extra base.

NOTES: Both teams recalled pitchers from their Triple-A farm clubs to start the second game. St. Louis brought up LHP Tyler Lyons from Memphis and Pittsburgh called up RHP Brandon Cumpton from Indianapolis. ... The Cardinals recalled RHP Michael Blazek and RHP Keith Butler from Memphis to give them fresh bullpen arms for the doubleheader. LHP Marc Rzepczynski and RHP Fernando Sales were optioned to Memphis. Rzepczynski was later traded to the Cleveland Indians for minor-league INF Juan Herrera. ... St. Louis rested C Yadier Molina, 1B Allen Craig and 3B David Freese, though all three were expected to start in the nightcap. Cardinals manager Mike Matheny wanted Molina to catch Lyons. Craig was 0-for-17 with nine strikeouts in his last five games and Freese was in a 1-for-14 slump.

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