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Pirates Grab 1st Place With Doubleheader Sweep Of St. Louis

July 31, 2013

Spot starter Brandon Cumpton earned his first Major League victory, combining with Jeanmar Gomez on a three-hit shutout, and the Pittsburgh Pirates posted a 6-0 home win over the St. Louis Cardinals, completing a doubleheader sweep at PNC Park on Tuesday night, and in the process taking possession of first place in the National League Central Division.

In the opener of the twinbill, Alex Presley’s walkoff RBI single in the bottom of the 11th inning gave the Pirates (64-42) a 2-1 victory.  The Bucs now hold the best record in the league and the best won-loss percentage in the Majors.

Andrew McCutchen and Pedro Alvarez both doubled to give the Pirates a first-inning lead in the night’s opening game.  The Cardinals tied the game in the top of the third on an RBI groundout by Matt Holliday, and the score remained knotted until Presley’s extra-inning single scored Russell and won the contest.

Both teams recorded six hits, including two apiece by Presley and Holliday.  Vin Mazzaro (6-2; 3.04 ERA) earned the win in a one-inning relief role.  Kevin Siegrist (0-1; 1.23 ERA) took the loss.

McCutchen slammed a two-run home run in the nightcap.  Gaby Sanchez doubled home a run, while Jordy Mercer contributed an RBI single.  Tony Sanchez, making his first Major League start at catcher, provided a sacrifice fly, and Jose Tabata scored on a passed ball.  Mercer, McCutchen, Gaby Sanchez and Josh Harrison all tallied two of the Pirates’ 11 hits.

Cumpton (1-1; 2.78 ERA), making his fourth Major League start in his third call-up from “AAA” Indianapolis, allowed just three hits over seven innings, striking out five batters and walking only one.  Gomez threw two innings of no-hit relief with one strikeout and one walk.  Cardinals rookie starter Tyler Lyons was saddled with the loss.  Lyons worked six innings, and surrendered four runs (3 earned) and eight hits with five strikeouts and one walk.

The Pirates have won the first three games of the five-game home series, while St. Louis (62-43) has now lost a season-high six consecutive games.  On Wednesday night, Pittsburgh’s Jeff Locke (9-3; 2.15 ERA) is scheduled to face Cardinals veteran Adam Wainwright (13-6; 2.51 ERA).

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