PITTSBURGH -- With a foot in the door to Major League Baseball's postseason, the Pirates kicked it in Tuesday night with a rollicking 6-2 win over the Reds in the National League Wild Card Game.
There will be a baseball tomorrow in Pittsburgh -- well, a baseball Sunday, when the Bucs will return from St. Louis for Game 3 of the NL Division Series against the Cardinals.
And there is most definitely a home-field advantage in a one-shot Wild Card Game, at least when it is played on the banks of the Allegheny River that runs under the Clemente Bridge.
All sensible questions, all answered in the affirmative on a night postseason baseball visited Pittsburgh for the first time since 1992 and made itself at home. The Bucs are on their way to St. Louis, where the NLDS opens Thursday at 4 p.m. CT at Busch Stadium.
With Francisco Liriano setting the immediate tone and second-inning homers by Marlon Byrd and Russell Martin pointing a rattled Johnny Cueto toward ruin, the Pirates fed the frenzy of a PNC Park record sellout crowd of 40,487 that acted as if it had been holding its voice since Sid Bream slid under Mike LaValliere's tag.
The house fell silent -- for the first time in two hours -- when Jay Bruce singled to cut it to 3-1 in the fourth. Bruce's opposite-field two-out hit scored Shin-Soo Choo, taking advantage of the Major League leader in being hit by pitches (26) taking another one off his right side.
Martin also provided the final salvo with another solo homer in the seventh off Logan Ondrusek that made it 6-1. Martin became the second Pittsburgh player with a multihomer postseason game. Bob Robertson clocked three in Game 2 of the 1971 NL Championship Series against the Giants.
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