Pedro Alvarez hit a tie-breaking single eighth inning and the Pirates beat the Cardinals 5-3 on Sunday to take a 2-1 lead in best-of-five NL division series. Alvarez’ single to right field scored pinch-runner Josh Harrison from second base.  Russel Martin followed with a single of against reliever Kevin Siegrist to score another run.  Carlos Martinez was tagged with the loss.  The go-ahead single was the latest big hit by Alvarez. He homered in the first two games of the series and is 4 for 10 with four RBIs.

Alvarez ruined Carlos Beltran’s night at the plate.  The new Mr. October, dubbed by his teammates, drove in all three runs for the Cardinals.  Beltran also hit his 16th postseason home run to move him past Babe Ruth for eighth place in postseason history.  Pirates starter Francisco Liriano dominated the Cardinals during the regular season, going 3-0 with an 0.75 ERA in his three starts against the NL’s highest-scoring team.  He gave up two runs in six innings of work.  In his three starts during the regular season, he gave up two runs in 24.2 innings.

Joe Kelly started for the Cardinals and gave up two, first-inning runs on a two-out RBI single by Marlon Byrd.  He gave up three runs, two earned in 5.1 innings.

Game 4 is Monday afternoon at 2:07 CT.

Watch Beltran’s tying homer courtesy of