NLDS, Game 2: Pirates-Cardinals lineups

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Pirates and Cardinals lineups for the first of four playoff games today

Pirates:
LF Starling Marte
2B Neil Walker
CF Andrew McCutchen
1B Justin Morneau
RF Marlon Byrd
3B Pedro Alvarez
C Russell Martin
SS Jordy Mercer
SP Gerrit Cole

Pirates manager Clint Hurdle made just one change from Game 1, benching shortstop Clint Barmes in favor of Jordy Mercer in an effort to add more punch to the lineup.

Cardinals:
2B Matt Carpenter
RF Carlos Beltran
LF Matt Holliday
1B Matt Adams
C Yadier Molina
CF Jon Jay
3B David Freese
SS Daniel Descalso
SP Lance Lynn

Cardinals manager Mike Matheny is sticking with the exact same lineup and batting order as Game 1, which St. Louis won 9-1.

Video: Albert Almora, Jr. saved by the ivy

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
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The ALCS had a weird play in Game 4 on Tuesday night, but Game 4 of the NLCS did as well. This one involved Cubs outfielder Albert Almora, Jr. and his attempt to spark a rally in the bottom of the ninth inning against Dodgers reliever Ross Stripling.

After Alex Avila singled, Almora ripped a double to left field, past a diving Enrique Hernandez. The ball rolled to the ivy in front of the wall. Most outfielders there would’ve put their hands up, which would have alerted the umpires to call an immediate ground-rule double. Hernandez didn’t, instead fishing the ball out and firing it back into the infield. Avila had stopped at third base, but Almora kept running. Much to his surprise, he pulled up into third base to see his teammate standing there, resigned to his fate as a dead duck. Third baseman Justin Turner applied the tag on Almora for what he thought was the first out of the inning.

Almora, however, was then sent back to second base after the umpires correctly called a ground-rule double.

Unfortunately for the Cubs, the lucky break didn’t help as closer Kenley Jansen came in and took care of business, retiring all three batters he faced without letting an inherited runner score. The Dodgers won 6-1 and now lead the NLCS three games to none. They’ll try to punch their ticket to the World Series on Wednesday.