Pirates Beat Cardinals 7-1 Behind Rookie Pitcher Gerrit Cole

Gerrit Cole allowed two hits in six innings and Pedro Alvarez hit a home run as the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the St. Louis Cardinals 7-1 to even their division playoff series at a game apiece.

With all four Major League Baseball playoff series in action today, Starling Marte also hit a homer and Russell Martin drove in two runs for the Pirates in their win at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, tying the best-of-five matchup following a 9-1 defeat yesterday.

Pittsburgh opened the scoring in the second inning after a misplay by Cardinals center fielder Jon Jay, who initially moved forward on a drive by Alvarez before the ball sailed over his head for a ground-rule double. Alvarez later scored on single to center by Cole.

Alvarez hit a two-run homer to center in the third inning to give Pittsburgh a 3-0 lead, and the Pirates added two more runs in the fifth, scoring on consecutive doubles by Justin Morneau and Marlon Byrd before St. Louis starter Lance Lynn was pulled from the game. Seth Maness took Lynn’s place, allowing a single to Martin that scored Byrd.

The Cardinals’ lone run came on a fifth-inning homer to right-center field by catcher Yadier Molina, while Marte’s eighth-inning home run off of Shelby Miller completed the scoring.

Cole, a 23-year-old rookie, gave up two hits in the win, striking out five with one walk in his playoff debut.

Lynn took the loss, allowing five earned runs on seven hits while striking out six and walking three.

In the other NL playoff game today, the Los Angles Dodgers host the Atlanta Braves while holding a 1-0 lead in their series. Both American League division series begin today, with the Boston Red Sox hosting the Tampa Bay Rays and the Detroit Tigers visiting the Oakland Athletics.

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