Erik Bedard struck out a season-high 11, including seven straight batters, and Pedro Alvarez hit a go-ahead home run as the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the St. Louis Cardinals 6-3 Thursday to avoid a three-game sweep.
Bedard (2-4) was pulled after five innings. Pittsburgh relievers kept piling up the strikeouts, fanning 17 Cardinals overall.
Alvarez hit his two-run drive in the sixth. Clint Barmes had a pair of RBI doubles for the Pirates, who completed a 3-4 trip and will have 18 of the next 25 at home to end May. Jose Tabata, a career .343 hitter against St. Louis, added three hits and a steal.
Jake Westbrook (3-2) lost to Pittsburgh for the second time in three starts, giving up four runs in 6 1-3 innings.
The NL Central-leading Cardinals have won seven of their first eight series, but four times have failed to complete a sweep after winning the first two games.
The Cardinals outscored the Pirates 7-0 in the first inning in the series, and got off to another fast start against B...