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Cardinals Vs. Pirates Final Score: St. Louis Wins 5-1, Avoids First Series Defeat

Looking to avoid losing their first series of the 2012 season, the St. Louis Cardinals came through with a 5-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday afternoon. The Pirates had beaten the Cardinals on Saturday, but they couldn't follow up with another win on Sunday to cap the series victory.

Cardinals starter Kyle Lohse was once again superb for St. Louis, allowing just one run on six hits over seven innings. He struck out five hitters and didn't allow a single walk.

Pirates starter Erik Bedard struggled early but settled in to give Pittsburgh seven innings of work, allowing three runs (two earned) on seven hits. The lefty battled some command issues, walking four Cardinal hitters, but he also struck out seven.

Rafael Furcal led the way for St. Louis on offense, getting on base four times en route to scoring two runs, plus Shane Robinson was 2-for-3 with a walk covering Jon Jay in center field.

For updates, stay tuned to SB Nation St. Louis. For more coverage, 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.