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Pirates outlast Cardinals 6-3 in 19 innings

Aug 19, 2012, 8:29 PM EST

Pedro Alvarez AP

The Pirates and Cardinals had already split a pair of one-run games Friday and Saturday, but they were just setting the table for Sunday’s marathon, a 19-inning affair won by Pittsburgh 6-3.

Pedro Alvarez hit a go-ahead homer off Barret Browning in the top of the 19th to break the tie, and Andrew McCutchen later added a two-run single that seemed to settle the matter once and for all.

The Pirates also took the lead in the 17th, when Garrett Jones collected an infield single with the bases loaded, but the Cardinals were able to come back and re-tie the game on a Tony Cruz sac fly.

Wandy Rodriguez, who was expected to start Monday, pitched scoreless 18th and 19th innings for the victory. He had been 0-3 in four starts since being acquired by the Pirates. It was his first relief appearance since 2006.

The game was the longest played so far in 2012. 2011 featured a pair of 19-inning games, including one in which the Pirates lost to the Braves. It was the Cardinals’ longest game since they lost to the Mets 2-1 in 20 innings on April 17, 2010.

The Pirates improved to 67-54 with the victory, pushing them two games ahead of the Cardinals in the NL Central. They’re one game ahead of the Giants for the second wild card.

  1. Sign Ahead - Aug 19, 2012 at 8:49 PM

    Wow. Buy one baseball game, get a second one for free.

    • mcs7584 - Aug 19, 2012 at 11:14 PM

      Two words my wife hates to hear: Free baseball!

  2. redguy12588 - Aug 19, 2012 at 9:33 PM

    That was a fantastic series. Nice to see the Pirates come out on top this time.

    • ajcardsfan - Aug 20, 2012 at 3:59 PM

      I hate to thumbs up a comment against my team, but I have to thumbs up it because it was a fantastic series, hate that we came out on bottom though.

  3. stairwayto7 - Aug 19, 2012 at 10:22 PM

    If this was a Stankee-Redsux game, there would have been 50+ comments, an ESPN Classic shown over and over again for 3 weeks. Pirates just ended the Cards season..mark it down!

    • chill1184 - Aug 19, 2012 at 11:03 PM

      I like how the Pirates are playing but don’t count out the Cardinals, plenty of season left for both teams.

    • stlouis1baseball - Aug 20, 2012 at 8:48 AM

      Great game. The NL Wild Card is gonna’ go down to the wire…mark it down!

  4. agc99 - Aug 19, 2012 at 11:00 PM

    Pirates are on life support.

  5. whodeytn - Aug 19, 2012 at 11:18 PM

    Reds.

    • florida76 - Aug 19, 2012 at 11:37 PM

      Pirates are a much better story than the Reds, everyone knew the Reds would be a contender in the NL Central with the weakened Brewers and Cards. No one in the universe could have predicted most of the way in August the Bucs would be in this position. Not even the gambling man, Pete Rose.

      By the way, the Bucs are 6-6 versus the Reds this season, so if the two teams meet in the playoffs by chance, the outcome is far from assured.

      • stanggtman - Aug 20, 2012 at 1:37 AM

        Go Reds!

  6. mrredlegz - Aug 20, 2012 at 3:48 AM

    Too bad they both couldn’t lose.

    • salvomania - Aug 20, 2012 at 11:25 AM

      Yeah, it’d be awesome if the Reds went 162-0 and everybody else went 0-162, even though that’s impossible it would still be awesome.

  7. westcoastredbird - Aug 20, 2012 at 3:00 PM

    Matheny took out his best clutch hitter Allen Craig and brought in Descalso as a defensive replacement? Every time I looked up Holliday was leading off an inning. It sure sucks watching a manager learn on the fly.

    • salvomania - Aug 20, 2012 at 3:56 PM

      He brought in Descalso as a pinchrunner after Craig led off the bottom of the 9th with a single, with Holliday/Beltran/Freese to follow. Never a good idea taking out your best hitter for a pinchrunner when he’s on 1st in a tie game (unless he’s hurt).

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