Originally posted on Raise the Jolly Roger!  |  Last updated 5/3/12

After last night, and even early on today, it looked like this series would be an absolute disaster for the Pirates. Instead, they were able to pick up a win on getaway day and finish their difficult road trip to Atlanta and St. Louis at 3-4.

The two big stars today were Erik Bedard and Pedro Alvarez. I’ll start with Bedard. He allowed three doubles in the first to make it 2-0 Cards very quickly, and it seemed like it might be another long day for the Pirates on the mound. Instead, Bedard turned in a record performance. He had a long second because of an error, a botched pickoff by Garrett Jones, and a fly ball that should have been caught, but was able to strand the bases loaded. Then, he went into total beast mode.

Erik had to come out after just five innings because his pitch count ran so high in the first and second, but he still racked up ELEVEN strikeouts. That’s the most by a Pirate left since Oliver Perez K’d 14 in 2004. Bedard also struck out SEVEN batters IN A ROW at one point, becoming the first Pirate EVER to do so. Awesome.

Meanwhile, the Pirates were able to climb out of their early hole with the bat. Pedro blooped a single in the fourth and scored on a Clint Barmes double to cut the Cards’ lead in half. The next time Pedro came up, he hit the ball a lot harder. With Neil Walker on first, Alvarez belted a 3-2 fastball out to center for a 2-run bomb to put the Bucs up 3-2.

Pedro’s average is now all the way up to .257 and he’s tied for second in the NL with 7 homers. Unreal.

The Pirates added another in the seventh when Jose Tabata (who also had a solid game, collecting 3 hits) doubled and came around on an Alex Presley groundout. Barmes tacked on one more insurance run with his second double of the day in the 8th.

Since Bedard only went 5, though, the bullpen had a good bit of work to do to close out the victory. Jared Hughes tossed a 1-2-3 sixth, but Juan Cruz walked two and allowed a hit before narrowly escaping the seventh. Jason Grilli tossed a clean eighth, and Joel Hanrahan was a bit sloppy in the ninth, allowing a run to score and the tying run to reach the plate.  Still, you can’t complain about the Pirates’ pitching today…they struck out SEVENTEEN batters–a FRANCHISE RECORD for a 9-inning game. Nice to see them get on the right side of the record books today after last night’s disaster.

Also of note, Andrew McCutchen left the game with the stomach flu, so presumably that’s a day-to-day thing.

Pirates 6, Cardinals 3 / Box / 2012 Record: 11-14 / Next: Friday, vs. Reds, 7:05

MVP: Alvarez (+.283) / LVP: McKenry (-.130) / Key play: Pedro’s bomb

©2012 Raise the Jolly Roger. All Rights Reserved.

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