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Pirates roll to 6-2 defeat of Reds in NL Wild Card Game

Oct 1, 2013, 11:27 PM EDT

pirates wild card game getty Getty Images

The Pirates are heading to their first-ever NLDS.

Francisco Liriano allowed just one run on four hits in seven innings and Russell Martin homered twice as the Bucs cruised to a 6-2 victory over the visiting Reds in the National League Wild Card Game on Tuesday night at a sold-out and rowdy PNC Park.

Liriano had everything working — especially his changeup and slider — and used an aggressive approach to carve his way through the Reds’ lefty-heavy lineup. Joey Votto, Shin-Soo Choo and Jay Bruce — all left-handed hitters — went a combined 1-for-8 with four strikeouts against Pittsburgh’s ace southpaw. Liriano needed only 90 pitches, 64 of which went for strikes.

Martin was the big offensive star, but the Pirates got contributions from players up and down their starting lineup. Andrew McCutchen reached base in four of his five plate appearances and Neil Walker, Marlon Byrd and Pedro Alvarez all produced RBI. Jason Grilli closed it out with a perfect top-of-the-ninth.

The Pirates — who last reached the postseason in 1992, when the Division Series did not exist — will open their best-of-five showdown with the Cardinals in St. Louis on Thursday evening. The Cardinals will want to take both of those first two home games because the crowd at PNC Park can be a real difference-maker.

There were 40,487 fans there Tuesday — a park record — and countless others draped across the Roberto Clemente Bridge. The all-black outfits, the chants and the constant noise clearly rattled the Reds’ pitchers. It’s a perfect environment for postseason baseball as anyone tuning in on Tuesday night could see.

  1. chill1184 - Oct 1, 2013 at 11:28 PM

    Congrats to the Pirates

  2. cohnjusack - Oct 1, 2013 at 11:32 PM

    How long ago was it that the Pirates were in the postseason?

    Two of the main contributors on the 1992 Pirates have children who played in the big league’s this year. (Scott Van Slyke and Kyle Drabek).

    • florida76 - Oct 2, 2013 at 12:07 AM

      Hey cohnjusack, did you know it’s been since 1985 since the KC Royals were in the postseason? Talking about 1992 and the Pirates today is the same as bringing up VHS tape. It’s not relevant anymore, move on brother.

      • cohnjusack - Oct 2, 2013 at 8:36 AM

        Ahhh, did someone’s wife yell at him this morning and now he has to get his little aggression out on the internet’s? Poor wittle florida 76. :(

  3. pitpenguinsrulez - Oct 1, 2013 at 11:40 PM

    I’m truly overjoyed to see the Pirates win! The Blackout was by far badass and intimidating to see! Like I’ve said on here numerous times I’ve waited all twenty years of my life to see this happen and I’m oh so happy to see the Pirates win a playoff game. Words cannot describe how I feel right NOW!!! LETS GO PIRATES!!!!!!!!!

  4. babyfarkmcgeezax - Oct 1, 2013 at 11:40 PM

    Let’s go Bucs!

  5. approvenothing - Oct 1, 2013 at 11:41 PM

    Is it to late for me to jump on the bandwagon?

  6. toodrunktotastethischicken - Oct 1, 2013 at 11:51 PM

    In honor of the Buccos’ win tonight I’m going to drink all the rum.

  7. Anoesis - Oct 1, 2013 at 11:55 PM

    Looked like the Reds were still mailing it in. Pretty impressive four game sweep for Pittsburgh.

  8. theageofquarrel - Oct 1, 2013 at 11:58 PM

    RAISE THE JOLLY ROGAH!!!!
    The Battlin’ Bucs are starting to heat up!!!
    Watch out Red Birds!!!

  9. scdocal - Oct 2, 2013 at 12:06 AM

    Not a bucs fan but couldn’t have happened to classier group of players and coaches.

  10. cheesesteak75 - Oct 2, 2013 at 12:21 AM

    Who ride?!!!

  11. perryt200 - Oct 2, 2013 at 12:29 AM

    Congrats to the Pirates.

    Unfortunately though someone is going to tell them where they have to go next. How did that work out last time?

  12. savior72 - Oct 2, 2013 at 2:51 AM

    Congrats to the pirates. NOW you’re in the playoffs. Won’t make any predictions but the cards aren’t the reds.

  13. earpaniac - Oct 2, 2013 at 3:04 AM

    The Bartman Curse is following Dusty! Congratulations Pirates! That’s really good to see, especially with the lack of success you guys had to deal with for all that time! I’ll be rooting for ya!

  14. stlouis1baseball - Oct 2, 2013 at 9:26 AM

    Congratulations to the Pittsburgh Pirates. I am very happy for them (especially their fans).
    That place was rocking last night! The atmosphere reminded me of a college basketball game.
    The sound was deafening. Well done!
    Now…it’s on to St. Louis. I expect a hard fought series. Good luck!

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