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Saturday, August 31st (All times Eastern)

St. Louis Cardinals (78-56) at Pittsburgh Pirates (78-56), 7:05 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: St. Louis - Lance Lynn (13-8, 4.02) Pittsburgh - A.J. Burnett (6-9, 3.18)

(Sports Network) - The Pittsburgh Pirates began their giant series with the St. Louis Cardinals looking like a team determined to end its lengthy playoff drought.

The Pirates now look to grab sole possession of first place in the NL Central on Saturday night and inch closer to securing their first winning season since 1992.

Pittsburgh came into Friday's opener of this three-game set trailing St. Louis by a game for first place. The Pirates, though, posted a statement-making 5-0 victory over their rivals, guided by Francisco Liriano's eight innings of two- hit ball.

Liriano won his career-high 15th game of the season, limiting the Cardinals to a pair of walks and striking out six.

"He's very determined right now," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said of Liriano.

Garrett Jones and Russell Martin both hit solo homers, with Jones driving in four runs with three hits.

The Pirates and Cards have identical 78-56 records as Pittsburgh eyes its first winning season and playoff berth since its 96-66 campaign in 1992.

Shelby Miller was touched for all five runs on eight hits with three walks and three strikeouts over 4 1/3 innings for St. Louis, which was also shut out 10-0 on Wednesday versus Cincinnati.

"I made some mistakes with some pitches and they put good swings on it," Miller said of his outing. "At the end of the day they just played better than us."

A.J. Burnett and Lance Lynn battled to a no-decision in an Aug. 15 meeting in St. Louis and square off again tonight for their respective clubs.

Burnett had held the Cardinals to three runs over 20 innings in his first three meetings with them this year, going 2-0, before giving up five runs over 4 1/3 frames in the last encounter.

All five runs allowed came in the bottom of the fifth inning after the Pirates had gotten to Lynn for four runs in the top of the frame. The St. Louis righty lasted 5 1/3 innings in the game, moving him to 2-0 with a 3.86 earned run average in four meetings this season with Pittsburgh.

That outing is part of a four-game winless stretch for Lynn, who is 0-3 with a 5.40 ERA in that time. The 26-year-old gave up four runs for a third start in a row in Sunday's 5-2 setback to Atlanta, falling to 13-8 with a 4.02 earned run average in 27 starts this year.

The right-handed Burnett has also hit a rough patch as of late. He allowed three earned runs or fewer in 19 of his first 20 starts on the season, but has given up four or more in three of his past four appearances.

Burnett is coming off a loss at San Francisco on Sunday, when he was charged with four runs on eight hits and three walks over 7 1/3 innings. The 36-year- old dropped to 6-9 with a 3.18 ERA on the season.

The Pirates are 9-5 versus the Cardinals this season.

08/31 10:24:41 ET

  • PGA: Zurich Classic of New Orleans

    Saturday at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NASCAR: Toyota Owner's 400 from Richmond

    Saturday at 7:00 pm on FOX50

  • PGA: Zurich Classic of New Orleans

    Sunday at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • MiLB: Bulls at Charlotte

    Tonight at 7:05 on 620am

  • MLB: LA Angels at NY Yankees

    Saturday at 1:05 pm on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
Final
CHR 9
DUR 1
 
Final
MIA 101
CHA 97
7:05pm Tonight
CHR
DUR
 
Final
ATL 3
MIA 1
Final
CHC 5
ARI 7
Final
COL 10
SFG 12
Final
OAK 0
TEX 3
Final
SEA 5
HOU 3
Final
PIT 2
CIN 5
Final
CLE 5
KAN 3
Final
WAS 5
ANA 4
Final
TOR 8
BAL 10
Final
DET 4
CWS 6
Final
TAM 4
MIN 6
Final
BOS 5
NYY 1
Final
NYM 3
STL 2
Final
MIL 5
SDP 2
Final
LOS 5
PHI 2
12:05pm Today
CLE
KAN
 
12:35pm Today
PIT
CIN
 
1:08pm Today
DET
CWS
 
1:10pm Today
TAM
MIN
 
1:10pm Today
NYM
STL
 
2:20pm Today
CHC
ARI
 
7:05pm Tonight
WAS
SDP
 
7:07pm Tonight
TOR
BAL
 
7:10pm Tonight
BOS
NYY
 
8:10pm Tonight
HOU
OAK
 
10:10pm Tonight
LOS
PHI
 
Final
MIA 101
CHA 97
Final
SAN 92
DAL 113
Final
HOU 105
POR 112
7:00pm Tonight
ATL
IND
8:00pm Tonight
MEM
OKC
10:30pm Tonight
GSW
LAC
Final
CLB 4
PIT 3
Final
DAL 4
ANA 2
Final
CHI 4
STL 3
8:00pm Tonight
DET
BOS
9:30pm Tonight
MIN
COL
10:30pm Tonight
LOS
SJS
Final
CHR 9
DUR 1
 
7:05pm Tonight
CHR
DUR