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      The Pirates crush the Cardinals 12 to 2

      Pedro Alvarez homered twice and scored three runs as the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the St. Louis Cardinals 12-2 on Friday night. Alvarez hit long solo shots in the second and fourth off Shelby Miller (0-1) and broke open a close game with a rare stolen base he converted into a run that broke open a close game. Travis Ishikawa added his first major league home run in nearly two years for Pittsburgh.

      Gerrit Cole (1-0) gave up two runs in seven innings in his first start since losing the deciding Game 5 of the NL division series to St. Louis last October. Miller struggled in his 2014 debut. He tied a career high by giving up five earned runs in 5 1-3 innings, including the three home runs.

      Matt Carpenter hit a two-run homer for the Cardinals. Six months removed from a taut NLDS that pushed the eventual NL champions to the brink of elimination, the Pirates sent an early message they have no plans of going away.