Cardinals Avoid Sweep With 5-4 Win

St. Louis avoided a sweep at the hands of the Pirates with a 5-4 win

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Cardinals Vs. Pirates Score Update: St. Louis Avoids Sweep With 5-4 Win

After dropping the first two games in their key Central Division series against the Pittsburgh Pirates, the St. Louis Cardinals knew it was key to avoid a sweep. Thanks to a gutty performance from Jake Westbrook, the Cardinals were able to do just that, as they came out with a 5-4 victory.

Westbrook certainly didn't have his best stuff, allowing nine hits in six innings, but he was able to limit the Pirates to just four runs. The St. Louis lineup was able to knock around Erik Bedard, who gave up five earned runs in just 4.2 innings on the mound.

Matt Holliday delivered a key double in the fifth inning, which tied the game at four following a four-run inning from the Pirates. Shane Robinson knocked in the game-winning run with a single later in the inning.

For updates, stay tuned to SB Nation St. Louis. For more in-depth coverage of this series,check out SB Nation's Cardinals and Pirates blogs, Viva El Birdos and Bucs Dugout. News and notes from around Major League Baseball can be found on Baseball Nation.

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Cardinals Vs. Pirates Preview: St. Louis Can Salvage Series With Victory

The St. Louis Cardinals entered the weekend within striking distance of the Pittsburgh Pirates, but on Sunday they'll merely be looking to save face. The Pirates have outscored the Cardinals 21-8 in the first two games of the weekend series, and Cardinals starter Jake Westbrook will undoubtedly be looking to keep the ball in the yard on Sunday.

After a rough patch of starts toward the end of May, Westbrook has steadied himself of late, delivering four quality starts in a row, lowering his ERA to 3.77. Westbrook has seen the Pirates twice already this season, giving up six earned runs and 16 hits in 13 innings. He has struck out ten batters, though.

The Cardinals will face Erik Bedard, who will be looking to rebound from a terrible June that saw him give up 19 earned runs in 26 innings across five starts. The Cardinals have faced Bedard twice so far in 2012, and the results have been mixed. St. Louis has hit Bedard pretty well, but they've been unable to score many runs; they've tagged Bedard with only four earned runs in 12 innings. They've also struck out 18 times.

Game date/time: Sunday, July 1, 1:15 p.m. CT

Location: Busch Stadium, St. Louis, Mo.

TV: FSN Midwest

For updates, stay tuned to SB Nation St. Louis. For more in-depth coverage of this series,check out SB Nation's Cardinals and Pirates blogs, Viva El Birdos and Bucs Dugout. News and notes from around Major League Baseball can be found on Baseball Nation.

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Cardinals Vs. Pirates Score Update: St. Louis Falls 7-3

In a key series that could go a long way to determine the NL Central Division, the St. Louis Cardinals again struggled against the rapidly improving Pittsburgh Pirates. In the second game of the series, the Cardinals fell into an early 4-0 hole that they were unable to overcome, falling 7-3.

Lance Lynn again struggled on the mound, allowing six earned runs in just five innings. Lynn allowed four runs in the first inning, with Pedro Alvarez breaking the game open with an early grand slam off of Lynn. For the Pirates, Jeff Karstens was in complete control throughout the game, allowing just two earned runs in 7.0 innings on the mound. Karstens struck out seven batters to pick up his first win of the season.

For updates, stay tuned to SB Nation St. Louis. For more in-depth coverage of this series,check out SB Nation's Cardinals and Pirates blogs, Viva El Birdos and Bucs Dugout. News and notes from around Major League Baseball can be found on Baseball Nation.

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Pirates Vs. Cardinals Lineups: Rafael Furcal, Yadier Molina Sit On Saturday

The St. Louis Cardinals are still chasing the Pittsburgh Pirates and Cincinnati Reds in the NL Central, and they will get a chance to make up some ground on the Pirates on Saturday. Pittsburgh claimed game one of their weekend series by scoring 14 runs against the Cardinals, but Lance Lynn should hold them to a lower total in game two. Rafael Furcal and Yadier Molina are not in the starting lineup for the Cards, who are on a two-game losing streak.

Here are the lineups for Saturday's game:

Cardinals vs. Pirates Lineups (6/30)
Skip Schumaker 2B Alex Presley LF
Jon Jay CF Jose Tabata RF
Matt Holliday LF Andrew McCutchen CF
Carlos Beltran RF Garrett Jones 1B
Allen Craig 1B Neil Walker 2B
David Freese 3B Pedro Alvarez 3B
Daniel Descalso SS Rod Barajas C
Tony Cruz C Clint Barmes SS
Lance Lynn P Jeff Karstens P

For updates, stay tuned to SB Nation St. Louis. For more in-depth coverage of this series,check out SB Nation's Cardinals and Pirates blogs, Viva El Birdos and Bucs Dugout. News and notes from around Major League Baseball can be found on Baseball Nation.

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Cardinals Roster Moves: RHP Maikel Cleto And LHP Barret Browning Promoted To MLB

The St. Louis Cardinals restructured their bullpen on Saturday morning, as they promoted relievers Maikel Cleto and Barret Browning and assigned Sam Freeman and Eduardo Sanchez to Triple-A Memphis. Freeman posted a 6.00 ERA over 12.0 innings in St. Louis and Sanchez struggled to a 6.60 ERA in 15.0 innings, so they have both been sent down as the organization looks for more consistency out of the pen.

Browning is a 27-year-old rookie who posted an impressive 1.89 ERA with 36 strikeouts over 38.0 innings at Triple-A Memphis in 2012.

For updates, stay tuned to SB Nation St. Louis. For more in-depth coverage of this series,check out SB Nation's Cardinals and Pirates blogs, Viva El Birdos and Bucs Dugout.News and notes from around Major League Baseball can be found on Baseball Nation.

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Pirates Vs. Cardinals: Lance Lynn Starts Saturday

St. Louis Cardinals starter Lance Lynn (10-3, 3.23 ERA) has been amazing in 2012, but he hasn't pitched as well during the month of June. In his previous start against the Kansas City Royals, Lynn allowed six earned runs and nine hits over 5.1 innings, which added to a month in which he has posted a 4.76 ERA over 28.1 innings. On Saturday afternoon he will start opposite Pirates hurler Jeff Karstens (0-2, 6.35 ERA) who has only made one start this month and gave up 11 hits and six earned runs against the Philadelphia Phillies on June 24.

Game Date & Time: Saturday, June 30, 1:15 p.m. CT

TV: Fox Sports Midwest

Radio: AM 1120 KMOX (click here for full list of affiliates)

For updates, stay tuned to SB Nation St. Louis. For more in-depth coverage of this series,check out SB Nation's Cardinals and Pirates blogs, Viva El Birdos and Bucs Dugout.News and notes from around Major League Baseball can be found on Baseball Nation.

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Cardinals Vs. Pirates Final Score: Pirates Breeze Past Cards, 14-5

For the second season in a row, the St. Louis Cardinals find themselves looking up at the Pittsburgh Pirates in the NL Central standings. On Friday night, the Cardinals hosted the Pirates at Busch Stadium, and got off on the wrong foot as they try and catch, and eventually pass, Pittsburgh.

The Cardinals were enjoying a seemingly comfortable 5-2 lead heading into the top of the fifth inning, but then the wheels fell off. In the top of the fifth, the Pirates put up three runs to tie the ballgame. In the top of the sixth, the Pirates put up four more runs, and that would be more than enough as they cruised to a 14-5 victory.

St. Louis starter Adam Wainwright took the loss with the kind of disastrous start that has kept his 2012 season from going smoothly. In the fifth, he fell victim to a bases clearing double by Pirates third basemen Pedro Alvarez, and in the sixth he gave up back-to-back homers to Clint Barmes and Alex Presley before exiting. The absolutely scorching St. Louis weather certainly did not help Wainwright, or any other pitcher for that matter.

For updates, stay tuned to SB Nation St. Louis. For more in-depth coverage of this series,check out St. Louis Cardinals blog Viva El Birdos and Pittsburgh Pirates blog Bucs Dugout. News and notes from around Major League Baseball can be found on Baseball Nation.

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Chris Carpenter Injury Update: Carpenter Diagnosed With Rare Syndrome

The saga of injured St. Louis Cardinals starter Chris Carpenter took another wild turn on Thursday, when he was diagnosed by a Dallas specialist with "thoracic outlet syndrome." The rare syndrome explains the chronic shoulder weakness that Carpenter has experienced since spring training, and though it can be fixed through surgery, the Cardinals are still hoping to avoid that step until at least the offseason.

According to Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com, this didn't come as a surprise to the Cardinals, who suspected that thoracic outlet syndrome was the source of Carpenter's woes. Carpenter threw a bullpen session on Friday, but a second session set for Monday has been cancelled due to shoulder weakness.

For updates, stay tuned to SB Nation St. Louis. For more in-depth coverage of this series, check out St. Louis Cardinals blog Viva El Birdos and Pittsburgh Pirates blog Bucs Dugout. News and notes from around Major League Baseball can be found on Baseball Nation.

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Pirates Vs. Cardinals Lineups: Adam Wainwright Takes The Mound As St. Louis Looks To Pass Pittsburgh In The Standings

The St. Louis Cardinals begin a series against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday, and a successful weekend could see the Cardinals moving up the standings in the NL Central, perhaps even all the way to first place -- St. Louis is a half game behind second place Pittsburgh and just 1.5 behind first place Cincinnati. The lineups for Friday's game are listed below.

St. Louis:

1. Rafael Furcal (S) SS
2. Jon Jay (L) CF
3. Matt Holliday (R) LF
4. Carlos Beltran (S) RF
5. Allen Craig (R) 1B
6. Yadier Molina (R) C
7. David Freese (R) 3B
8. Daniel Descalso (L) 2B
9. Adam Wainwright (R) P

Related: Fixing The Cardinals' Broken Bullpen

Pittsburgh:

1. Drew Sutton (S) LF
2. Jose Tabata (R) RF
3. Andrew McCutchen (R) CF
4. Garrett Jones (L) 1B
5. Neil Walker (S) 2B
6. Pedro Alvarez (L) 3B
7. Rod Barajas (R) C
8. Clint Barmes (R) SS
9. Kevin Correia (R) P

For updates, stay tuned to SB Nation St. Louis. For more in-depth coverage of this series, check out St. Louis Cardinals blog Viva El Birdos and Pittsburgh Pirates blog Bucs Dugout. News and notes from around Major League Baseball can be found on Baseball Nation.

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Pirates Vs. Cardinals: St. Louis Hosts Pittsburgh For Weekend Series

The St. Louis Cardinals host the Pittsburgh Pirates in a three-game weekend series at Busch Stadium.

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