Posted July 22, 2012 on AP on Fox
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Jeff Karstens pitched seven crisp innings, Pedro Alvarez homered and the surging Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Miami Marlins 3-0 on Sunday for their fifth consecutive win. Pittsburgh completed its fourth sweep of the season - all at home - while matching its longest winning streak since Sept. 17-22, 2010. The Pirates (54-40) remained a half-game behind NL Central-leading Cincinnati. Miami has lost five straight, scoring a total of seven runs during the slide. Alvarez's fourth homer in his last six games and No. 21 for the season came after Casey McGehee led off the seventh with a double, making it 3-0. Karstens (3-2) allowed five hits. Jared Hughes worked a perfect eighth and Joel Hanrahan retired the Marlins in order for his 28th save in 31 opportunities.
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