The Pirates wasted a dominant outing by Francisco Liriano Monday as the Cardinals came back in the late innings and wound up with a 3-2 win.
The Bucs got a Pedro Alvarez solo homer in the second, but the early innings were all about Liriano, who threw tons of mid-90s heat and struck out eight batters over six innings. After Liriano gave up a leadoff single to Kolten Wong in the seventh, though, Clint Hurdle removed Liriano after just 91 pitches, and that's where things went south. After Jared Hughes entered, Tony Cruz singled and moved up on a sacrifice, and then Matt Carpenter walked. Then Jon Jay and Matt Holliday singled, and suddenly the Cardinals had a 3-1 lead.
It looked like the Pirates might be able to scratch out a run or two when Josh Harrison reached on an error in the eighth, but Travis Snider took an outside 3-0 pitch that looked for all the world like a ball but got called a strike anyway, and then he grounded into a double play. Then in the ninth, Andrew McCutchen hit a rally-killing solo homer. Russell Martin walked with one out, but the Pirates failed to score again, and the Cardinals finished out the game with a victory.
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