Pirates Beat Cards 5-3, Take 2-1 Lead in NLDS

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The Pittsburgh Pirates returned home and handed the Cardinals their second straight loss in the NLDS, this one a 5-3 loss on Sunday.The Cardinals twice battled back from deficits, only to give up the decisive two go ahead runs in the eighth inning.

The Pirates grabbed a quick 2-0 first inning lead on Cardinals starting pitcher Joe Kelly on Marlon Byrd's two run single. The Cardinals would tie the game in the fifth inning on Carlos Beltran's two run single off Pirates ace pitcher Francisco Liriano. The Pirates went ahead 3-2 in the sixth inning on Russell Martin's sac fly. Beltran brought the Birds back even at 3-3 with a solo homer in the eighth inning. It was Beltran's 16th post season home run, passing Babe Ruth for most post season home runs in baseball history. But Pittsburgh answered with two runs of their own in their half of the eighth on RBI singles by Pedro Alvarez and Russell Martin. Those proved to be the winning runs.

The Cardinals now face a must win situation on Monday if they want to bring this NLDS back to St. Louis for a decisive fifth game of this series. Michael Wacha will start for the Cards, while Charlie Morton will pitch for the Pirates. First pitch of Game 4 is at 2:07 PM.

Fox 2's Charlie Marlow is in Pittsburgh with the Cardinals and files these three post game reports after the Birds 5-3 loss in Game 3.