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Pirates Cut Cardinals Lead to 2 1/2 Heading into All-Star Break

Major League Baseball has reached its All-Star break and it could not have come any sooner for the struggling St. Louis Cardinals. The Cards head into the break with the lead in the National League Central and baseball’s best overall record, but things have not gone well the past two weeks.

The Pittsburgh Pirates, however, have great momentum entering the break after defeating the Cardinals on Sunday in the 10th inning after St. Louis entered the 10th with a 5-3 lead. The Pirates rallied in the bottom of the inning to defeat the Cardinals 6-5 and take three of four games from their division leading rivals and cut the Cardinals lead to just 2 ½ games.

Trevor Rosenthal an All-Star closer for St. Louis blew a save for just the second time all season. He was worked hard on Saturday throwing 27 pitches in 1 1/3 innings and was pitching his 29th pitch on Sunday when the Pirates won the game.

Andrew McCutchen the talented outfielder for Pittsburgh saw his 18-game hitting streak end, but his teammates were able to carry the load on Sunday for the red-hot Pirates. As recently as May 8, the Pirates were 9 games out of first place and have now brought it to just 2 ½ games with 74 more to play.

Matt Holliday the Cardinals left fielder hit a few balls prior to Sunday’s game. He will not play in the All-Star Game so he can rest his injured quadriceps, but should play when the Cards return to play on July 17. It will be his first games since June 8.

Corey Hart the Pirates first baseman suffered a setback to one of his knees during rehabilitation of his hip impingement and has had to stop the rehabilitation. Neal Huntington the Pittsburgh GM said that Hart would rejoin Pittsburgh after the break to have his knee reevaluated. Hart has not played since June 21.

St. Louis has five players in the All Star Game. They will start their post All-Star schedule on Friday July 17 against the New York Mets. Lance Lynn will start for St. Louis in the opening game of that series.

Pittsburgh is sending four players to the All-Star Game including pitcher Gerrit Cole who leads the majors in wins with 13.

The Pirates will start their post All-Star schedule at Milwaukee on Friday. Pittsburgh under Clint Hurdle the manager is 133-152 following the All-Star game.

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