PITTSBURGH -- Pedro Alvarez hit a tiebreaking single in the eighth inning and the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the St. Louis Cardinals 5-3 on Sunday to take a 2-1 lead in best-of-five NL division series.
Alvarez pulled a grounder into right field that scored pinch-runner Josh Harrison from second base. Russell Martin followed with a sharp RBI single against reliever Kevin Siegrist, who took over after Carlos Martinez (0-1) faltered.
Mark Melancon (1-0) picked up the win despite allowing Carlos Beltran's tying home run in the top of the eighth.
Jason Grilli worked the ninth to move the Pirates within one victory of winning a postseason series for the first time since the 1979 World Series.
Charlie Morton is set to start for the Pirates in Game 4 on Monday against rookie Michael Wacha.