User ID
Password
  Forgot User ID
or Register Today!
VegasInsider.com
Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us on Google+ VI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds
Home
NFL
NBA
NHL
MLB
NCAA FB
NCAA BK
Golf
Auto Racing
Horses
More
Betting Tools

 
Bucs rough up Westbrook, Cards for 9-2 win

New Sportsbook.ag customers: Make your 1st bet, get your 2nd bet free, 100%, winnings paid in cash.
Join Now

Already have an account? Click here to view new Exclusive Rewards!

PITTSBURGH (AP) - Francisco Liriano allowed one run over seven dominant innings, Pedro Alvarez hit his NL-leading 27th home run and the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the St. Louis Cardinals 9-2 Monday night.

Advertisement
Liriano (11-4) struck out eight and walked just two to win his fifth straight start. The Pirates kicked off the key series at PNC Park by sending the Cardinals to their fourth straight loss to pull within a half-game of the lead in the NL Central.

Clint Barmes doubled twice and drove in two runs for Pittsburgh. Andrew McCutchen added two hits and an RBI.

Jake Westbrook (7-5) continued to struggle against the Pirates. He fell to 1-8 against Pittsburgh in his career after surrendering four first-inning runs. Matt Carpenter and Shane Robinson hit RBI singles for St. Louis, which has scored just four runs during its longest losing streak of the season.

Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle stressed the need to not place too much focus on a late-July series. Maybe, but with the Pirates chasing their first playoff berth in 21 years and a chance to make inroads on the team with the best record in baseball, the game had an electricity typically reserved for early fall in cities far away from the one that hasn't fielded a winner since 1992.

Lower-lever tickets were fetching $100 or more hours before the first pitch, and Liriano did not disappoint the largest Monday-night crowd (32,084) since the park opened in 1992.

The left-hander, whose path to stardom veered off track after undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2007, continued to resurrect his career. He retired the first 10 batters he faced and kept the best-hitting team in the National League on its heels while dropping his ERA to 2.16.

The Pirates took some of the pressure off Liriano early by continuing to rough up Westbrook.

As ugly as his record against the Pirates is, it could have been even worse. Westbrook was touched for four runs in the first inning in his last start at PNC Park on April 16 only to have the game washed out by rain.

The weather couldn't save him this time. Neither could Westbrook's usually solid control.

Jose Tabata led off the bottom of the first with a walk and Westbrook drilled Neil Walker moments later. McCutchen followed with an RBI-single up the middle and Alvarez took the very next pitch and sent it into the first row of bleachers.

Westbrook survived a bases-loaded jam in the second to stay close, but by then Liriano had all the support he would need. His only real mistake came in the sixth, when pinch-hitter Tony Cruz led off with a triple and scored on Carpenter's single up the middle. A strikeout and a double play followed, and the Pirates broke it open in the seventh against relievers Marc Rzepczynski and Fernando Salas.

Garrett Jones started it with Pittsburgh's first sacrifice fly to the outfield since May 27 and Barmes clubbed a two-run double as the Pirates batted around.

NOTES: Pirates LF Starling Marte did not start after getting a planned day off in favor of Alex Presley, recalled from Triple-A on Monday after C Mike McKenry went onto the disabled list with a sprained knee. Marte entered in the seventh as a pinch hitter and singled. He is hitting just .131 (5 for 38) since July 20 ... The series continues with a doubleheader Tuesday. A.J. Burnett (4-7, 2.96 ERA) faces Lance Lynn (12-5, 3.98 ERA) in the opener with the Cardinals' Tyler Lyons (2-3, 5.51) starting the second game. The Pirates will not name a starter for the second game until Tuesday morning. ... Lynn was originally supposed to start the second game, but St. Louis manager Mike Matheny moved him into the matchup against Burnett because he wanted a more experienced pitcher to take on Pittsburgh's ace.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

  
HEADLINES
Rogers: Thursday's Tip Sheet
Akins: Diamond Trends - Thursday
Lawrence: August Pitchers Report
Rose: Who's Hot - NL Edition
Tigers acquire ace Price from Rays
A's acquire Lester, Gomes for Cespedes
Red Sox trade Lackey to Cardinals
D-backs send OF Parra to Brewers
M's acquire OF Denorfia from Padres
MORE HEADLINES
 
Why Buy Picks From VegasInsider.com
MLB Pro Baseball Handicapper Sports Picks Records
MLB Hot Streaks
7-1 Y'day, 20-8 G-Plays, +8,568 TY
6-0 L6 Guarantees, 15-6 L7 Days
5-0 +599 Run, +2,568 This Year
6-1 L3 Days, 27-13 +1,730 L40
15-5 L20 Totals, +2,499 This Year
15-7 +918 L22, +2,573 TY
18-7 L25 Guarantees, +1,795 TY
7-3 L10 Over/Under Plays
2-0 Yesterday, +2,059 Totals TY
7-4 L11 Totals, +2,095 TY
25-14 Last 39 Selections
7-3, +449 L10 Guaranteed Plays
MLB Pro Baseball Expert Sports Picks - Atlanta Braves at Los Angeles Dodgers
2014 MLB SEASON PICK RECORDS
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Antony Dinero + 8568
John Fisher + 2573
Dave Cokin + 2568
Underdog Leaders
Handicapper Money
Bruce Marshall + 3259
James Manos + 2542
Dave Cokin + 1776
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
Antony Dinero + 2464
Matt Zylbert + 2059
Tony Stoffo + 1322
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Dave Cokin + 1448
Doc's Sports + 1237
Kyle Hunter + 976
Favorite Leaders
Handicapper Money
Antony Dinero + 3889
Doc's Sports + 1607
Kevin Rogers + 1364
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Mike Rose + 2292
The Gold Sheet + 1052
Bruce Marshall + 946
MORE PICK RECORDS
  
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!