Pirates grab early lead over Cardinals in NLDS Game 3

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Francisco Liriano’s success against the Cardinals has been well-chronicled. And he has continued that pattern of pitching dominance in the early stages of this NLDS Game 3 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh.

With the help of a wide Jerry Layne strike zone, the left-handed Liriano carved his way through St. Louis’ batting order in the opening frame. Matt Carpenter struck out to open the game and Carlos Beltran and Matt Holliday were then retired on groundball outs.

Cardinals starter Joe Kelly also was the beneficiary of some odd called strikes in the bottom of the first inning but he issued a two-out walk to Andrew McCutchen anyway and then deflected a comebacker from Justin Morneau that Cardinals shortstop Pete Kozma threw beyond the reach of Matt Adams at first base. With runners on third and second, Marlon Byrd smacked a two-run single into left field.

It’s a 2-0 lead for the host Pirates after one and the crowd is rocking in the Steel City.