Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Pirates 6, Cardinals 3 Three Strikes and You're out Bedard Gets Team- Record 7 Ks in a Row, 11 Overall; Bullpen Adds 6

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Pirates 6, Cardinals 3 Three Strikes and You're out Bedard Gets Team- Record 7 Ks in a Row, 11 Overall; Bullpen Adds 6

Article excerpt

ST. LOUIS -- Erik Bedard found a way to sever the tendons of the St. Louis Cardinals' offensive muscle Thursday afternoon: Don't allow them on the bases.

Bedard started the process with 11 strikeouts, including seven in a row at one point. The bullpen followed the same path, and, by the end of the game, the Cardinals had struck out 17 times.

The Cardinals displayed their offensive abilities in the late innings and forced the bullpen to work out of jams, but the Pirates held on for a 6-3 win at Busch Stadium, avoiding a series sweep.

"It's the way to keep them from scoring runs," manager Clint Hurdle said of the strikeouts.

Bedard, Jared Hughes, Juan Cruz, Jason Grilli and Joel Hanrahan combined to keep the Cardinals off the bases. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Bedard became the first Pirates pitcher to strike out seven consecutive batters in a single game.

"I don't remember having seven," Bedard said. "I guess it was a groove."

Beginning with Allen Craig in the third inning and ending with Jon Jay in the fifth, seven batters in a row went down on strikes against Bedard.

Before that stretch, Bedard worked himself into trouble. The Cardinals scored twice in the first and loaded the bases in the second for Matt Holliday. Bedard fell behind in the count, 3-0, but battled back to a full count with six consecutive fastballs and got Holliday to ground out.

"Throwing fastballs, hopefully, he pops it up or grounds out, and that's what happened," Bedard said.

Hughes worked a perfect sixth, but Cruz, Grilli and Hanrahan combined to walk five batters in three innings. Cruz got Craig to ground out with the bases loaded in the seventh, and Hanrahan struck out Matt Carpenter with two on in the ninth after allowing Craig's run-scoring double.

"It was showtime," Hurdle said. "We put ourselves in a position to win, we had the people we wanted to have in the game. We threw all the chips in.

"It was a little more entertaining than we probably would have liked, but, at the end of the day, you trust your people, you get them out there."

Pedro Alvarez hit his seventh home run this season and Clint Barmes had two run-scoring doubles. The Pirates had 13 hits, nine against starter Jake Westbrook, who has not beaten the Pirates in six career starts. …

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