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National League Preview from The Sports Network
Thursday, May 3rd (All times Eastern)
Pittsburgh Pirates (10-14) at St. Louis Cardinals (16-8), 1:45 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Pittsburgh - Erik Bedard (1-4, 2.48) St. Louis - Jake Westbrook (3-1, 1.30)
(Sports Network) - Veteran right-hander Jake Westbrook hopes to be the latest St. Louis pitcher to take advantage of high-end offensive support today when the Cardinals host the Pittsburgh Pirates in the finale of a three-game series at Busch Stadium.
The Cardinals scored 10 runs to win the series opener on Tuesday before upping the output to a dozen a night later, when Carlos Beltran finished 4-for-5 with a pair of three-run home runs and seven RBI in a 12-3 rout.
Matt Holliday went 2-for-2 with a pair of RBI and three runs scored, while Daniel Descalso added an RBI triple and Rafael Furcal had an RBI single among his two hits for the Cardinals.
"Days like this don't come everyday," Beltran said. "I'm just glad to be able to go out there and have a good day. I'm happy we were able to score some runs early and get the win."
Lance Lynn (5-0) tossed 6 2/3 strong innings, giving up two runs on three hits and one walk while fanning six. Marc Rzepczynski got the final out in the seventh and Kyle McClellan worked a scoreless eighth before Mitchell Boggs closed it out in the ninth.
Josh Harrison went 2-for-2 with two RBI, Clint Barmes added an RBI double and Pedro Alvarez chipped in with a pair of hits and scored all three runs for the Pirates, who have dropped three of four.
A.J. Burnett (1-2) was torched for all 12 runs on 12 hits and a walk while striking out two in 2 2/3 innings.
The win was St. Louis's fifth in six games overall and its fourth in five 2012 meetings with the Pirates, who trail the Cardinals by six games in the National League's Central Division.
Westbrook, a 34-year-old from Athens, Ga., is winless in nine lifetime games against Pittsburgh, including a 2-0 loss when the teams met April 21 at PNC Park.
He allowed seven hits and two runs in 6 2/3 innings of that defeat and has given up a composite 20 earned runs in 40 hits in 36 1/3 innings against the Pirates.
He's 3-0 against the rest of the National League in 2012, defeating Cincinnati, Chicago and Milwaukee while allowing 14 hits and two earned runs across 21 innings.
Pittsburgh goes with Canadian-born lefty Erik Bedard, who snapped a four-start losing streak in his most recent outing on April 28 in Atlanta.
Bedard allowed a run on five hits in five innings of a 4-2 win over the Braves, but had lost his initial four starts of his first season with the Pirates while facing Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Arizona and St. Louis.
He was on the short end of a 5-1 decision against the Cardinals on April 22 after giving up two earned runs on seven hits in seven innings.
It was his first career meeting with St. Louis.
St. Louis took two of three meetings against the Pirates last month and has won nine of the last 12 contests in this series.
05/03 10:31:02 ET
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