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Pirates Lose To Cardinals, 5-4

(Photo by Jeff Curry/Getty Images)

(Photo by Jeff Curry/Getty Images)

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ST. LOUIS (KDKA/AP) — For the second consecutive night, a home run in the eighth inning sank the Pirates.

They lost 5-4 to the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday night at Busch Stadium, dropping to 61-70.

Jose Veras blew the lead when Lance Berkman hit a two-run homer to put the Cardinals on top.

Berkman reached 30 homers for the sixth time in his career, leaving him one behind teammate Albert Pujols for the NL lead, coming off a career-worst 14 homers in an injury-plagued 2010.

James McDonald (4.22 ERA) gave up three runs on five hits and struck out five over six innings.

The Bucs started off strong when they took an early lead after earning three runs in the first inning.

Andrew McCutchen, who had three hits for the night, and Ryan Doumit each had RBI singles. Josh Harrison had a sacrifice fly.

St. Louis’ Yadier Molina hit a three-run homer in the second to tie it at 3-3.

In the fourth, Jose Tabata had an RBI double.

Jake Westbrook (4.75 ERA) allowed four runs, seven hits and struck out three over six innings.