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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.