Pedro Alvarez drove in the game-winning run with an RBI single in the bottom of the eighth inning, helping the Pittsburgh Pirates earn a 5-3 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 3 of the NLDS.
Andrew McCutchen led off the decisive inning with a double against Carlos Martinez, but was thrown out at third attempting to advance on a Justin Morneau ground ball. Josh Harrison pinch-ran for Morneau, and Marlon Byrd ended up drawing a one-out walk, putting two runners on for Alvarez.
Cardinals manager Mike Matheny called on southpaw Kevin Siegrist to face Alvarez, but the third baseman delivered in the clutch, smacking a single to drive in Harrison.
Pittsburgh jumped over Joe Kelly in the top of the first inning. McCutchen started the rally with a two-out walk. Morneau followed by hitting a ground ball right at Kelly, who deflected the pitch towards Pete Kozma. The shortstop made an errant throw, which put two runners in scoring position for Byrd.
Byrd slapped a two-out single, plating both runners and giving Pittsburgh an early 2-0 lead.
St. Louis scored for the first time in the top of the fifth. Jon Jay led off the inning with a single, advancing to second on a Kozma walk. Francisco Liriano struck out Kelly on a two-strike foul bunt, then Matt Carpenter went down looking on a borderline fastball. Jay and Kozma pulled off a double steal during the at-bat, putting two runners in scoring position for Carlos Beltran.
The outfielder knocked in both runners with a two-out single, guiding the ball past Clint Barmes into center field:
The Pirates regained their lead in the bottom of the sixth. McCutchen led off the inning with a walk, advancing to third on a Byrd one-out double. That caused Mike Matheny to call for an intentional walk of Pedro Alvarez, loading the bases for Martin.
The Cardinals manager brought in ground ball pitcher Seth Maness to face Martin, but the catcher smacked a deep fly ball to center field, driving in McCutchen to give Pittsburgh a 3-2 advantage.
Kelly ended up throwing 5 1/3 innings, allowing three runs on five hits. The right-hander battled his control, walking four Pirates, but did force five strikeouts. Liriano countered with six solid innings, giving up two runs on three hits. The southpaw struck out five, walked two and escaped from a bases-loaded jam in the top of the third with no runs allowed.
Beltran led off the top of the eighth and crushed a Melancon mistake, launching a solo homer to tie the game at 3-3.
St. Louis struggled offensively outside of Beltran. Kozma went 2-for-3 with a double and a walk, but Yadier Molina, Adams and Jay were the only other Cardinals hitters to collect hits.
The Pirates will look to wrap up the series at home on Monday. First pitch for Game 4 is scheduled for 3:07 p.m. ET. Charlie Morton will start for Pittsburgh, facing St. Louis rookie Michael Wacha.