MLB playoffs: Gerrit Cole shuts down St. Louis as Pittsburgh wins on the road
NLDS • Rookie helps Pittsburgh even series with St. Louis, 1-1.
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St. Louis • Gerrit Cole and the Pittsburgh Pirates played a game of role reversal, and pulled even with the St. Louis Cardinals.

The hard-throwing rookie gave up two hits in six dominant innings and also had an RBI in his postseason debut, Pedro Alvarez homered for the second straight day and the Pirates beat the Cardinals 7-1 Friday to even their NL division series at one game apiece.

"Just what we've been seeing all year," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "You saw a focused man that was ready to go."

A day after St. Louis got a strong effort from its starter and took advantage of mistakes to romp 9-1 in the opener, the Pirates showed poise for their first playoff win since 1992 while the Cardinals looked tentative in the field.

The Pirates now head home for Game 3 Sunday in the best-of-five series. Wild-card game winner Francisco Liriano faces Cardinals right-hander Joe Kelly.

Cole faced the Cardinals for the first time and left most of them shaking their heads, striking out five and walking one. After allowing Carlos Beltran's double with one out in the first, the 22-year-old retired 11 straight before Yadier Molina led off the fifth with his third career postseason homer.

Relying on a fastball that peaked at 99 mph on the stadium radar gun and one that TBS had at 100, Cole had hitters helpless at times even without shadows that benefited pitchers early in Game 1.

"I just trusted myself and tried to keep it as simple as I could," Cole said. "You just try and clear you mind after every pitch and just look forward."

When he got in the least bit of trouble, Cole ignored chants from a second straight sellout crowd at Busch Stadium.

"You just have to take a deep breath," Cole said. "Rip off the rear-view mirror on the car."

Cardinals starter Lance Lynn needed some help. He hasn't lasted long enough to qualify for the victory in any of his three career postseason starts and yielded five runs and seven hits in 4 1-3 innings.

"It was a bad game," Lynn said. "I made four bad pitches for four extra-base hits. When I made a mistake with the fastball, they were ready for it." Pirates 7,Cardinals 1

Pittsburgh AB R H BI BB SO Avg.

S.Marte lf 3 1 1 1 1 1 .143

N.Walker 2b 5 0 0 0 0 1 .000

McCutchen cf 4 0 1 0 1 1 .375

Morneau 1b 5 2 2 0 0 1 .333

Byrd rf 5 2 1 1 0 1 .125

P.Alvarez 3b 4 2 2 2 1 0 .429

R.Martin c 3 0 1 2 1 1 .167

Mercer ss 3 0 1 0 1 0 .250

Watson p 0 0 0 0 0 0 —-

Melancon p 0 0 0 0 0 0 —-

Grilli p 0 0 0 0 0 0 —-

Cole p 3 0 1 1 0 1 .333

b-G.Snchez ph 1 0 0 0 0 0 .000

Barmes ss 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000

Totals 36 7 10 7 5 7

St. Louis AB R H BI BB SO Avg.

M.Crpenter 2b 3 0 0 0 1 1 .125

Beltran rf 4 0 1 0 0 1 .222

Holliday lf 4 0 0 0 0 2 .250

Ma.Adams 1b 4 0 2 0 0 0 .429

Y.Molina c 4 1 1 1 0 1 .429

Jay cf 4 0 0 0 0 3 .167

Freese 3b 2 0 0 0 1 0 .333

Descalso ss 3 0 0 0 0 0 .000

Lynn p 1 0 0 0 0 1 .000

Maness p 0 0 0 0 0 0 —-

Axford p 0 0 0 0 0 0 —-

Choate p 0 0 0 0 0 0 —-

a-Chambers ph 1 0 0 0 0 0 .000

Siegrist p 0 0 0 0 0 0 —-

S.Miller p 0 0 0 0 0 0 —-

c-Wong ph 1 0 0 0 0 0 .000

Mujica p 0 0 0 0 0 0 —-

Totals 31 1 4 1 2 9

Pittsburgh 012 020 110 — 7 10 0

St. Louis 000 010 000 — 1 4 1

a-flied out for Choate in the 6th. b-popped out for Cole in the 7th. c-flied out for S.Miller in the 8th. E—Freese (1).

LOB—Pittsburgh 9, St. Louis 5. 2B—Morneau (1), Byrd (1), P.Alvarez (1), Beltran (1), Ma.Adams (1). HR—P.Alvarez (2), off Lynn S.Marte (1), off S.Miller Y.Molina (1), off Cole. RBIs—S.Marte (1), Byrd (1), P.Alvarez 2 (3), R.Martin 2 (2), Cole (1), Y.Molina (1). SB—S.Marte (1). SF—R.Martin.

Runners left in scoring position—Pittsburgh 4 (N.Walker 2, Cole, Morneau) St. Louis 3 (Ma.Adams, Descalso, Jay). RISP—Pittsburgh 3 for 9 St. Louis 0 for 5.

Runners moved up—P.Alvarez. GIDP—Morneau.

DP—St. Louis 1 (M.Carpenter, Descalso, Ma.Adams).

Pittsburgh IP H R ER BB SO ERA

Cole W, 1-0 6 2 1 1 1 5 1.50

Watson 1 1 0 0 1 1 0.00

Melancon 1 0 0 0 0 0 0.00

Grilli 1 1 0 0 0 3 0.00

St. Louis IP H R ER BB SO ERA

Lynn L, 0-1 41⁄3 7 5 5 3 6 10.38

Maness 2⁄3 1 0 0 0 0 0.00

Axford 1⁄3 0 0 0 2 0 0.00

Choate 2⁄3 0 0 0 0 0 0.00

Siegrist 1 1 1 0 0 0 0.00

S.Miller 1 1 1 1 0 1 9.00

Mujica 1 0 0 0 0 0 0.00

Inherited runners-scored—Maness 2-1, Choate 2-0. IBB—off Lynn (Mercer). HBP—by Lynn (S.Marte).

Umpires—Home, Wally Bell First, Jerry Layne Second, Sam Holbrook Third, Jim Joyce Right, Tony Randazzo Left, Paul Nauert.

T—3:03. A—45,999 (43,975).