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Updated: October 6, 2013
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Copyright © 1997-2013
Grand Slam/Marco Stoovelaar
Compiled and Copyright © 1997-2013 by Marco Stoovelaar

Pittsburgh outscores St. Louis in Game 3 NLDS
PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania (USA) - Playing its first game of the National League Division Series at home, Pittsburgh Pirates struck in Game 3 on Sunday by winning 5-3 vs. St. Louis Cardinals to take a 2-1 lead. Game 4 will be played on Monday.

Pittsburgh is in the Play-Offs for the first time in 21 years. Their home attendance is a major factor in the success of the Pirates this season. PNC Park is filled with more than 40,000 spectators, who make noise from the first to the last pitch in the game by cheering their team. It stimulates the players and sometimes bothers the opponents.

PNC Park, which opened in 2001 replacing the old Three Rivers Stadium, is located in a beautiful setting at Allegheny River in downtown Pittsburgh. When sitting in the stadium and facing right-centerfield, one looks out over downtown. In centerfield, the Roberto Clemente Bridge is visible. The bridge is named after Pittsburgh's famous and legendary outfielder, who died on New Year's Eve in 1972. He was on a relief flight that was en route to Nicaragua to help victims of a devastating earthquake. But shortly after taking off from Puerto Rico, the plane crashed into sea. Clemente remains an icon in Pittsburgh and in Major League-baseball.

On Sunday, Pittsburgh led twice, but St. Louis came alongside both times. Pittsburgh then took a definitive lead in the eighth inning.

In the bottom of the first inning, Pittsburgh opened the score with two runs. With two outs, Andrew McCutchen walked and Justin Morneau singled, which brought McCutchen to third base, while Morneau moved on a throwing error. The two then scored when Marlon Byrd followed with a single.

Pittsburgh-starter Francisco Liriano retired six batters in a row, but then saw St. Louis load the bases in the third. With one out, Pete Kozma doubled, them with two outs, Matt Carpenter was hit by a pitch and Carlos Beltran walked. A line out to rightfield then ended the inning.

St. Louis then tied the score in the fifth at bat. Jon Jay led off with a single and Pete Kozma walked. Two strikeouts followed, but the runners executed a double-steal on the second strikeout. The two then scored when Carlos Beltran followed with a single to tie the score.

In the sixth inning, Pittsburgh re-took the lead. Andrew McCutchen led off with a walk and moved to third on an one-out double by Marlon Byrd. St. Louis-starter Joe Kelly then walked Pedro Alvarez intentionally to set up a force plat and was replaced by Seth Maness. He faced Russell Martin, who hit a sacrifice fly to bring in Jay and give Pittsburgh a 3-2 lead, but two runners stranded, as a force out ended the inning.

St. Louis came alongside again in the top of the eighth inning when new pitcher Mark Melancon gave up a lead-off homerun to Carlos Beltran.

But in the home of the eighth, the Pirates took the lead to keep. New pitcher Carlos Martinez gave up a lead-off double to Andrew McCutchen, but he was eliminated trying to move to third base on a grounder by Justin Morneau. After Josh Harrison was inserted as pinch-runner for Morneau, Marlon Byrd walked. Hereafter, Kevin Siegrist took over the pitching and was welcomed with RBI-singles by Pedro Alvarez and Russell Martin that made it 5-3.

(October 6)

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