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31

Four-run burst sends Bucs past Cards

Pittsburgh, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - Pedro Alvarez's RBI single capped Pittsburgh's four-run fourth inning and propelled the Pirates to a 4-3 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals in the middle contest of a three-game set Saturday at PNC Park.

Pittsburgh starter Edinson Volquez and Jose Tabata each added a run-scoring groundout in the rally, while Josh Harrison supplied an RBI single and scored on Alvarez's go-ahead base hit for the deciding margin.

Volquez allowed three runs on four hits and four walks over 4 2/3 frames before giving way to Jared Hughes (2-1), who picked up the win after spinning 1 1/3 perfect innings in relief.

Mark Melancon stranded runners on first and second in the ninth to secure his fourth save of the season and send Pittsburgh to its fourth win in a row.

"What a fun game to be a part of," said Pirates manager Clint Hurdle. "For everybody. Everybody threw in something, everybody did their job."

Mark Ellis drove in a run and scored once for the Cardinals, who have lost two straight and three of their last four games.

St. Louis starter Lance Lynn (4-2) allowed all four runs on nine hits and two walks over six innings to absorb the loss.

"I think there was only one ball hit in the outfield on a line," said Lynn. "It's tough, when you give up four runs with only one ball leaving the infield in the air. It's just baseball."

The Cardinals did all their damage in the second inning, as Allen Craig ripped a leadoff single and Matt Adams walked before Ellis smacked a single up the middle to score Craig.

Volquez then plunked Peter Bourjos to load the bases for Tony Cruz, who plated a run despite grounding into a 5-4-3 double play. Volquez's next pitch skipped to the backstop, allowing Ellis to race home for a 3-0 lead.

The Pirates finally solved Lynn in the fourth, as Ike Davis and Jordy Mercer sandwiched singles around a Tony Sanchez hit-by-pitch to load the bases with no outs.

Volquez and Tabata followed with consecutive RBI groundouts before Harrison ripped a grounder back up the middle that hit Lynn's foot and ricocheted high in the air toward second. The speedy Harrison reached first safely and Mercer crossed the plate to tie the game.

After Neil Walker singled to keep the rally alive, Alvarez smacked a base hit to center, plating Harrison for a 4-3 lead.

The Cardinals loaded the bases with two outs in the fifth against Volquez, but Hughes entered and grounded out Adams to end the threat.

In the ninth, Daniel Descalso smacked a leadoff single, but Melancon retired the next two Cardinals in order. The Pittsburgh right-hander then plunked Matt Holliday before striking out Craig to end the game.

Game Notes

St. Louis went 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position and left 10 men on base ... Lynn is winless in his last four starts since opening the season 4-0 ... Pittsburgh's four-game win streak is a season high ... The Pirates finished 4-for-12 with RISP and left nine men on base.

05/11 02:31:48 ET