Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Pirates sweep double-header, take first three games of epic five game series against St. Louis

Am I dreaming? If I am, don't wake me. In what must seem like a "pinch me" moment for Pirates fans everywhere, the Buccos swept a double-header over St. Louis at PNC Park, Tuesday night, to not only take the first three games of a very important five game series, but also take first place in the National League Central division by one and a half games.

After winning in dominant fashion over the Cardinals, Monday night, Pittsburgh won the first game of Tuesday night's double-header, thanks to a one-out single by Alex Presley in the 11th inning that drove in Russell Martin for the 2-1 victory.

Veteran pitcher A.J. Burnett pitched seven outstanding innings, only yielding one run on three hits in a no-decision. The Pirates' bullpen continued its dominant ways, contributing four scoreless innings, as reliever Vin Mazzaro picked up the win.

In the night-cap, Brandon Cumpton, a call-up from triple AAA Indianapolis, pitched seven shut-out innings in a spot-start, as Pittsburgh dominated the Cardinals in a 6-0 victory.

Andrew McCutchen hit a two-run home run in the win, as Pittsburgh improved to a season high 22 games over .500 at 64-42--the first time the Pirates have been that many games over .500 since 1992. Not only does Pittsburgh now hold a one and a half game lead in the NL Central, in terms of the wild card, the lead is now up to 10 games, thanks to Arizona's loss to the Rays.

Before the series, any Pirates fan would have been happy with taking three games and gaining a game in the standings. Now, it's time to be stingy. A split in the next two games would assure gaining three games on the Cardinals in just four days.

So far in the series, the Pirates have outscored St. Louis, 17-3.

Just another "pinch me" moment in a "pinch me" kind of season for the Pirates.

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