- POSTED: 05 Oct 2013 07:42
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Rookie Gerrit Cole pitched six strong innings and knocked in a run as the Pittsburgh Pirates pounded St. Louis 7-1 in the second game of their playoff series on Friday.
SAINT LOUIS: Rookie Gerrit Cole pitched six strong innings and knocked in a run as the Pittsburgh Pirates pounded St. Louis 7-1 in the second game of their playoff series on Friday.
The Pirates wasted no time rebounding after losing the first game 9-1 on Thursday to level the Major League Baseball quarter-final series at 1-1.
"Well, anytime you can get a win, it's huge. But obviously to fall behind 2-0 to a team like the Cardinals is no good. Today was a huge victory for us," said Pedro Alvarez.
Cole, who went 4-0 in September with a 1.69 earned run average in five starts, surrendered one run on two hits while striking out five for the Pirates.
Francisco Liriano will start for Pittsburgh and Joe Kelly will pitch for St. Louis in the third game of the best-of-five National League series on Sunday at PNC Park.
Alvarez and Starling Marte clubbed home runs for Pittsburgh, who are in the postseason for the first time since 1992. Russell Martin had two RBI and Marlon Byrd drove in a run and scored twice.
Yadier Molina belted a home run and starting pitcher Lance Lynn allow five runs on seven hits over 4 1/3 innings for St. Louis.
"Well, I thought Lance did a pretty nice job early," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said.
"The only time he got into trouble is when he didn't control the counts. I thought he established his off-speed pitches as well as we've seen him do that all season long. But when we got into disadvantaged counts, it was a completely different at-bat. So that was pretty consistent."
The Pirates took a 3-0 lead on Alvarez's home run blast over the wall in the third. Justin Morneau singled and scored on Alvarez's two-out centre field shot.
Pittsburgh added two more runs in the fifth. Morneau doubled to left-centre field and rushed home on Byrd's ground-rule double. Alvarez walked before Seth Maness took over on the mound for Lynn. Martin welcomed Maness with an RBI single to left field.
Cole had retired 11 straight St. Louis batters before Molina halted the streak with a leadoff homer in the bottom of the fifth.
"I mean, they're a really tough offence. They don't strikeout a whole lot, and they work counts and pick times to take and pick times to ambush," Cole said. "So it's critical just to make quality pitches early, not only to get ahead, but to minimize damage."