Pirates 12, Cardinals 2

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[April 05, 2014]  PITTSBURGH  Pirates 12, Cardinals 2: Pedro Alvarez homered twice and drove in three runs in support of Gerrit Cole's strong season debut as Pittsburgh posted a comfortable home victory.

Both of Alvarez's home runs came against Cardinals starter Shelby Miller (0-1), who surrendered five runs and six hits  including three homers  in 5 1/3 innings. Cole (1-0) went seven strong frames, allowing two runs and six hits in a crisp 108-pitch outing.

Russell Martin and Andrew McCutchen drove in two runs each for the Pirates while Starling Marte recorded three hits and Travis Snider scored twice. Matt Carpenter's two-run homer accounted for all the offense by the Cardinals.

The Pirates initially took a 3-0 lead behind a trio of solo home runs  Alvarez's blasts in the second and fourth innings and Travis Ishikawa's homer later in the fourth. Carpenter drew the Cardinals within a run with his two-run shot in the fifth, but the Pirates answered with three more runs in the sixth, including RBI singles by Martin and Gaby Sanchez.

Pittsburgh added an extra run in the seventh on Martin's single and five more in the eighth, highlighted by McCutchen's two-run triple. Jose Tabata, Snider and Alvarez also drove in eighth-inning runs for the Pirates, who had only scored seven total runs in 35 innings in their opening three-game series with the Cubs.

GAME NOTEBOOK: The game was delayed for just over an hour prior to first pitch. ... Alvarez has six career multi-homer games  the most by a third baseman in Pirates history. ... The fourth-through-eighth hitters in the St. Louis lineup combined to go 0-for-17.

[ 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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