ST. LOUIS -- Lance Lynn made no attempt at sugar-coating his latest post-season flop. Cardinals manager Mike Matheny picked him to start Game 2 of the NL division series and the bullpen was busy all day.
"It was a bad game," Lynn said after getting chased in the fifth inning of a 7-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday that evened it at a game apiece.
"I approached this game as I always do. I had good stuff but I made four bad pitches and they went for extra-base hits," he said.
Rookie Gerrit Cole gave up two hits in six dominant innings and had an RBI in his post-season debut for Pittsburgh and Pedro Alvarez homered for the second straight day.
Cardinals mistakes helped build a nice cushion for the Pirates, who head home for Game 3 on Sunday in the best-of-five series. Wild-card game winner Francisco Liriano faces Cardinals right-hander Joe Kelly.
Lynn is 0-2 in three starts the last two post-seasons, allowing nine earned runs in 122/3 innings. He twice faced the Giants in the NL championship series last fall, the longest start lasting 32/3 innings.
The right-hander got the nod based on a strong September and 9-3 record at home. He's yet to qualify for a post-season victory after yielding five runs and seven hits in 41/3 innings.
"I'm not a gambler by nature," Matheny said. "Just take the information in. We're really happy with how all of our starters ended the season."
Wacha (4-1, 2.78) will oppose Charlie Morton (7-4, 3.26) in Game 4 Monday.
Lynn made it to the fifth for the first time, but just barely. Miller warmed up in the third and Lynn was yanked with one out after back-to-back doubles by Justin Morneau and Marlon Byrd that put the Pirates up 5-0, followed by a four-pitch walk to Alvarez that gave reliever Seth Maness a little more time to warm up.
Miller worked the eighth and gave up a homer to Starling Marte.
Roles were reversed from the Cardinals' 9-1 win in the opener, with the Pirates showing poise in their first post-season win since 1992 and St. Louis looking tentative in the field.
Lynn found trouble early. Alvarez doubled in the second on a fly ball that was misjudged by centre fielder Jon Jay and he scored on Cole's single to put the Pirates ahead -- eighth-place hitter Jordy Mercer was walked intentionally ahead of Cole. Alvarez then hit a 418-foot, two-run homer in the third.
Third baseman David Freese dropped Byrd's towering pop fly for an error in gusting wind in the seventh inning, leading to a run.
-- The Associated Press