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Pirates Eliminate Reds, Advance to Play Cardinals

Jared Wickerham/Getty Images Sport

The Pittsburgh Pirates waited 21 years to get back to the postseason, and they made the most of their opporutnity Tuesday night.

The Pirates hit three home runs to back the pitching of Francisco Liriano and defeated the Cincinnati Reds 6-2 in the National League Wild Card game at PNC Park in the steel city.

Marlon Byrd and Russell Martin both homered in the second inning to give the Pirates an early 2-0 lead.  A Pedro Alvarez sacrifice fly scored Andrew McCutchen in the third to make it 3-0.

Cincinnati finally got on the board in the fourth inning when Jay Bruce singled to score Shin-Soo Choo, but the Pirates got the run right back off starter Johnny Cueto an a Neil Walker double, and Walker came home on a Byrd groundout to stretch the lead to 5-1.

Martin’s second homer of the game in the seventh inning gave the Pirates their final run.

Choo homered in the eighth for the Reds’ other run.

Liriano (1-0) pitched seven innings of four hit ball to pace the Pirates’ pitching.  He walked one and struck out five, allowing just one run.

The Pirates defeated the Reds for the fourth time in a week, having swept the Reds at the Great American Ballpark last weekend.

The Pirates now travel to St. Louis to face the Cardinals, who had the best record in National League.  The series begins Thursday afternoon.

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