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Alvarez Slam Boosts Pirates Past Cardinals 7-3
ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Pedro Alvarez hit a grand slam in the first inning off suddenly scuffling 10-game winner Lance Lynn and Andrew McCutchen had two hits before leaving with a sore left wrist, helping the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the St. Louis Cardinals 7-3 Saturday for their fourth victory in a row.

Jeff Karstens (1-2) thrived in sweltering heat, allowing four hits with seven strikeouts in seven strong innings.

Pittsburgh matched its longest winning streak of the year. It was 99 degrees for the first pitch and the temperature spiked to 103 later in the game.

The Pirates are a season-best seven games above .500. If they complete a three-game sweep Sunday it'll mark the franchise's high water mark since the final game of their 96-66 NL East championship team in 1992. Erik Bedard (4-8, 4.27 ERA) opposes Jake Westbrook (6-6, 3.77).

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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