David Freese and Matt Adams both hit two-run homers and Adam Wainwright tossed a complete game to lift the Cardinals to their second straight elimination game win over the Pirates. Pittsburgh was only able to muster up six hits against St. Louis' ace in the first eight innings, and two of those were nullified by double plays.
Marlon Byrd led off the second inning of a scoreless game with a single before Pedro Alvarez's line drive was snared by Matt Carpenter, who threw to first base to double up Byrd. Six innings later, with the Pirates trailing by two runs, Starling Marte hit a shot right at Carpenter, who doubled off Jordy Mercer to end the frame. Mercer had just reached base on a single, the first hit of any sort by a pinch-hitter for either team in the series.
Gerrit Cole, who pitched brilliantly in Game 2, surrendered the home run to Freese in the second inning and left in favor of a pinch-hitter in the sixth while trailing, 2-0. Cole struck out five and allowed only three hits.
Adams and Matt Holliday had two hits apiece for the Cardinals. Jon Jay singled, walked and scored a pair of runs.
Marlon Byrd had three hits to lead the Pirates.
Pittsburgh got a couple of two-out singles in the ninth against Wainwright, but no damage was done. The Cards will face the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLCS beginning on Friday.