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NLDS 2013: Cardinals beat Pirates in 5 games, advance to NLCS

Adam Wainwright pitched a complete game while David Freese and Matt Adams each hit two-run home runs to lead the Cardinals over the Pirates 6-1 in Game 5 to capture the National League Division Series for St. Louis.

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47 Total Updates since October 3, 2013
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Cards advance, in GIF form

Luck appeared to be on the side of the Cardinals on Wednesday. Just for good measure, they added some power, too.

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Party's over for Pirates

The cover of the Pittsburgh Tribune after the Pirates were eliminated by the Cardinals in Game 5 of the NLDS on Wednesday night. The photo is magnificent.

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Cardinals advance to NLCS

The Cardinals will play in their third consecutive NLCS as a result of a couple of long balls, Adam Wainwright's second dominant outing of the series, and some opportunistic defense.

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Pirates doubled up again

The Pirates keep hitting line drives at the wrong guy.

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Alvarez bounces single into RF for 1st Bucs run

The Pirates finally got on the board against Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright in the top of the seventh inning when Pedro Alvarez bounced a single over the head of Matt Adams.

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Luckily for the Cardinals, Matt Carpenter was playing in shallow right field due to the shift employed for the Pirates' left-handed slugger; otherwise, another run might have scored.

With the wacky bounce, Alvarez became the first player in MLB history to record at least one RBI in each of his first six postseason games. The Cardinals hold a 3-1 lead entering the bottom of the seventh inning.

For more on this game, follow our stream or head over to Bucs Dugout and Viva El Birdos.

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Cards add a run in the 6th

The Cardinals are three innings away from advancing to the NLCS to face the Dodgers.

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Cards still up, 2-0

After surrendering a home run to David Freese, Gerrit Cole was rescued by good defense then betrayed by bad defense then rescued again. Basically, it's still a two-run game.

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Marte makes excellent diving grab

Pirates outfielder Starling Marte prevented an undesirable situation from getting worse when he robbed Cardinals second baseman Matt Carpenter of a possible extra-base hit in the third inning of Game 5 of the National League Division Series on Wednesday.

Already trailing by two runs, Pirates starting pitcher Gerrit Cole threw a 96-mph fastball that was ripped to left by Carpenter. Fortunately for the Pirates, Marte was all over it:

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Carpenter is now 1 for 17 at the plate in the series.

For more on this game, follow our stream or head over to Bucs Dugout and Viva El Birdos.

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Cards jump out to 2-0 lead

Oh hello, David Freese.

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Carpenter turns two

Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Marlon Byrd singled off of St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Adam Wainwright to lead off the second inning of Game 5 of the National League Division Series, but the Bucs' attempt at building an early scoring threat was put to an end as quickly as it started.

Cardinals second baseman Matt Carpenter speared a line drive off the bat of Pirates slugger Pedro Alvarez and promptly doubled up Byrd at first base:

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Wainwright retired the next hitter, Russell Martin, and on we go to the bottom of the second.

For more on this game, follow our stream or head over to Bucs Dugout and Viva El Birdos.

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Pirates vs. Cards Game 5 lineups

Wainwright and Cole will take the mound for their teams.

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Pirates vs. Cardinals, 2013 NLDS Game 5

It will be rookie versus veteran as Gerrit Cole goes head-to-head with Adam Wainwright for the chance to play in the NL Championship Series.

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NLDS 2013: Gerrit Cole to start Game 5 for Pirates

Cole gets the start over veteran A.J. Burnett, who struggled in Game 1 of the NLDS.

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Cardinals vs. Pirates final score: Cards win 2-1

Michael Wacha carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning, helping St. Louis avoid elimination and force a Game 5.

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Cardinals vs Pirates score: 2-1, Wacha loses no-no

Pedro Alvarez homered to break up Michael Wacha's no-hitter, but St. Louis still leads 2-1 in the eighth inning.

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Cards' Michael Wacha with no-hitter through 7

The rookie flirts with perfection in a postseason game against the Pirates

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Cardinals vs Pirates: NLDS Game 4 starting lineups

Mike Matheny shuffled his lineup around, trying to spark the Cardinals offense against Charlie Morton.

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Cards vs. Pirates: Time, TV Schedule, and pitchers

Charlie Morton will look to wrap up the NLDS for the Pirates in front of their home fans, but Michael Wacha hopes to send the teams back to St. Louis.

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Pirates' 8th-inning rally leads to 5-3 win

Pittsburgh overcame a three-RBI game from Carlos Beltran to earn its second win of the NLDS.

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Pirates regain lead on Martin sac fly

The Pirates enter the top of the seventh with a one-run advantage over the Cardinals.

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Beltran ties game at 2-2 with RBI single

Beltran picked up another clutch hit in the playoffs with a two-out, RBI single.

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Pirates maintain 2-0 lead over Cardinals through 4

The Cardinals loaded the bases in the top of the third inning, but could not plate any runners.

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Matt Adams turns an inning-ending double-play

St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Matt Adams is not known for his glove, but has made some nice plays in the NLDS. He helped erase Andrew McCutchen on Sunday with a diving tag after snaring a Justin Morneau line drive.

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It certainly helped that Morneau crushed the ball right at Adams, but the first baseman made a heads-up play to quickly apply the tag. The Cardinals, however, have not been able to do much offensively and trail 2-0 heading into the bottom of the fourth.

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Pirates jump out to early 2-0 lead over Cardinals

Francisco Liriano looked overpowering against the first six hitters he faced, while Marlon Byrd connected on a two-out, RBI single.

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Pirates vs. Cardinals: Lineups for Game 3

Clint Barmes is back in the lineup for the Pirates, while the Cardinals have Yadier Molina batting cleanup.

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Cards vs. Pirates: Time, TV schedule and pitchers

Francisco Liriano will attempt to repeat his NL Wild Card performance, while Joe Kelly looks to impress in his first postseason start.

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Pirates increase lead to 5-1 over Cardinals

Gerrit Cole is turning in an impressive start in his first postseason appearance.

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Pirates chase Lance Lynn after 4 1/3

St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Lance Lynn had an interesting afternoon. The right-hander at times looked dominant, striking out six Pirates over 4 1/3 innings. When Pittsburgh did make contact, however, the ball tended to travel far.

Lynn surrendered a two-run homer to Pedro Alvarez in the top of the third, then gave up back-to-back doubles to Justin Morneau and Marlon Byrd in the top of the fifth. The starter looked exasperated after the Byrd double, and clearly didn't know what to do with his hands.

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The Pirates lead 5-1 heading into the top of the sixth.

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Alvarez HR gives Pirates 3-0 lead over Cardinals

Alvarez hit a two-run homer in the top of the third, increasing the Pirates lead.

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Adams with the impressive (and lucky) snag

St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Matt Adams got just enough of his glove on a Neil Walker one-hopper, robbing the second baseman of extra bases.

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Well done, Adams, that play was never in doubt. Unfortunately for the Cardinals, they trail the Pirates 3-0 heading into the bottom of the fourth.

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Alvarez launches two-run homer

Pittsburgh Pirates slugger Pedro Alvarez launched a two-run homer to dead centerfield, giving the Pirates a 3-0 lead over the St. Louis Cardinals.

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The third baseman hit a homer in Thursday's game, and roped a double in his first at-bat. Alvarez seems unfazed by the added pressure of postseason baseball, which is a great sign for Pirates fans.

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Pirates jump out to 1-0 lead over Cardinals

Gerrit Cole helps himself with a RBI-single in the second.

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Pirates vs. Cardinals: Lineups for Game 2

The Pirates have replaced Clint Barmes at shortstop with Jordy Mercer, while the Cardinals are employing the same batting order.

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Cards plunder Pirates in Game 1

Adam Wainwright and company shut down the Bucs in St. Louis Thursday afternoon.

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Martinez robs Martin with spinning throw

With an eight-run cushion headed into the eighth inning, Cardinals manager Mike Matheny decided to give young right-hander Carlos Martinez his first chance at making an impact in postseason play. It sure didn't take long.

Facing Bucs catcher Russell Martin -- he of two October home runs already -- to begin the frame, the 22-year-old Martinez made a crazy spinning throw on a slow roller to nab Martin at first:

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A hat tip also goes to first baseman Matt Adams for saving that throw from being a two-base error.

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Cards lead 9-1 through 6th

Alvarez launched the first home run of his postseason career in the fifth, but Adam Wainwright is still stifling the Pirates.

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Cards jump to 7-0 lead

Burnett's shortest start since August 2011 won't help the Bucs win Game 1.

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Beltran ties Babe Ruth with 3rd-inning HR

The St. Louis Cardinals have jumped out to a huge 7-0 lead in the bottom of the third. The rally started with a three-run bomb from right fielder Carlos Beltran:

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The shot gives Beltran 15 postseason home runs in his career, which ties him with Babe Ruth -- you may have heard of him -- on the all-time list. Among active players, Beltran now ranks third, trailing just Derek Jeter (20) and Albert Pujols (18).

As the NY Posts' Joel Sherman aptly put it:

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Freese snags liner, robs Bucs

Things have been pretty uneventful so far at Busch Stadium through the first 2½ innings, so far as offense is concerned.

The Bucs and Cards are all square, and we appear to be well on our way to a pitchers' duel. Adam Wainwright is on his game so far tonight, racking up three strikeouts and allowing no base-runners through his first three innings.

Hero of postseasons past David Freese helped preserve Wainwright's perfect line with one out in the top of the third, snagging a line drive off the bat of Pirates shortstop Clint Barmes:

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There's no telling whether the ball would have landed fair or not, but it's a hell of a play either way.

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NLDS score update: Bucs 'n Cards all square thru 2

A pitchers' duel has broken out early on at Busch Stadium.

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Pirates-Cardinals rivalry continues in NLDS

If you didn't get enough of this NL Central rivalry during the regular season, here's your chance to experience it again.

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Cardinals injuries: Craig unlikely for playoffs

Though Craig's news is not encouraging, the Cardinals can take some solace in Matt Holliday feeling good.

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Cardinals and Pirates release NLDS rosters

Allen Craig remains out for the Cardinals and will not play in this series.

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