Cardinals vs. Pirates final score: Pittsburgh leads NLDS after 5-3 win

Oct 6, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Russell Martin (55) is congratulated by teammates Clint Barmes (12) and Andrew McCutchen (22) after hitting a RBI sacrifice fly against the St. Louis Cardinals during the sixth inning in game three of the National League divisional series playoff baseball game at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

For two plus decades, the Pittsburgh Pirates didn’t see a postseason.

With one more win, they’ll be playing in the National League Championship.

The Pirates, with a earth shaking crowd cheering them on, took the momentum early after a first inning, two-run single off the bat of Marlon Byrd plated both Andrew McCutchen and Justin Morneau. That lead stood until the top half of the fifth inning when Carlos Beltran of the St. Louis Cardinals knocked in two runs with a single to center.

An inning later, the Pirates recaptured the lead thanks to a sacrifice fly from catcher Russell Martin.

Anticipation in the crowd was building as the Pirates continued to march towards a victory, but the aforementioned Beltran, who’s been one of the most clutch playoff performers in Major League history struck again, this time with a home run to deep right center. The solo shot not only tied the game at 3-3, but also took the wind out of the crowd.

The sad faces didn’t last long though as the Pirates, who seemingly refuse to go away, put together a rally in the bottom of the eighth inning against Carlos Martinez, plating two runs in the process, giving them a 5-3 lead.

It would be all they’d need as All-Star closer Jason Grilli came in and shut the door.

Pittsburgh is now a single win away from advancing to the NLCS, something they’ll attempt to do Monday afternoon. If they’re unsuccessful, both the Pirates and Cardinals will return to St. Louis for a winner-take-all, Game 5 on Wednesday night.

Topics: 2013 MLB Playoffs, Pittsburgh Pirates, St. Louis Cardinals

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