ST. Dries Mertens Belgium Jersey . LOUIS -- Gerrit Cole and the Pittsburgh Pirates played a game of role reversal, and pulled even with the St. Louis Cardinals. The hard-throwing rookie gave up two hits in six dominant innings and also had an RBI in his post-season debut, Pedro Alvarez homered for the second straight day and the Pirates beat the Cardinals 7-1 Friday to even their NL division series at one game apiece. "Just what weve been seeing all year," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "You saw a focused man that was ready to go." A day after St. Louis got a strong effort from its starter and took advantage of mistakes to romp 9-1 in the opener, the Pirates showed poise for their first playoff win since 1992 while the Cardinals looked tentative in the field. The Pirates now head home for Game 3 Sunday in the best-of-five series. Wild-card game winner Francisco Liriano faces Cardinals right-hander Joe Kelly. Cole faced the Cardinals for the first time and left most of them shaking their heads, striking out five and walking one. After allowing Carlos Beltrans double with one out in the first, the 22-year-old retired 11 straight before Yadier Molina led off the fifth with his third career post-season homer. Relying on a fastball that peaked at 99 mph on the stadium radar gun and one that TBS had at 100, Cole had hitters helpless at times even without shadows that benefited pitchers early in Game 1. "I just trusted myself and tried to keep it as simple as I could," Cole said. "You just try and clear you mind after every pitch and just look forward." When he got in the least bit of trouble, Cole ignored chants from a second straight sellout crowd at Busch Stadium. "You just have to take a deep breath," Cole said. "Rip off the rear-view mirror on the car." Cardinals starter Lance Lynn needed some help. He hasnt lasted long enough to qualify for the victory in any of his three career post-season starts and yielded five runs and seven hits in 4 1-3 innings. "It was a bad game," Lynn said. "I made four bad pitches for four extra-base hits. When I made a mistake with the fastball, they were ready for it." Lynn was manager Mathenys choice for Game 2 ahead of rookies Shelby Miller and Michael Wacha, the decision based on the right-handers strong September and 9-3 record at home. Wacha (4-1, 2.78) will oppose Charlie Morton (7-4, 3.26) in Game 4 Monday. Alvarez doubled and scored on Coles single in the second to put the Pirates ahead -- eighth-place hitter Jordy Mercer was walked intentionally ahead of Cole. Center fielder Jon Jay said he should have tracked down the double by Alvarez. "Thats a play Ive got to make and I didnt," Jay said. "Thats on me." Alvarez then hit a 418-foot, two-run homer in the third. Pirates pitchers totalled 10 RBIs during the season and Cole had five of them, including two in his final start. Third baseman David Freese dropped Marlon Byrds pop fly for an error in gusting wind in the seventh inning, leading to a run. 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 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. Liriano is 4-0 with a 1.16 career ERA in four starts against the Cardinals. He dominated in three starts this year, including a complete game in St. Louis, and allowed 10 hits in 22 innings with 20 strikeouts. He was the winner Tuesday night against Cincinnati in front of a raucous crowd in Pittsburgh that was celebrating the Pirates return to the post-season. Kelly (10-5, 2.69) thrived as a fill-in starter for the second straight season and won eight straight decisions. NOTES: Injured Cardinals pitcher Chris Carpenter threw the first pitch to his son, Sam, and was accompanied to the mound by his daughter, Ava. ... Daniel Descalso made the last out in the second inning and the first out in the Cardinals NL division series-record seven-run third in Game 1. ... Molinas last post-season homer came in Game 7 of the 2006 NLCS against the Mets. Mousa Dembele Jersey . Top-seeded Djokovic swept to a 6-1, 6-3 win over 51st-ranked Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain in just 57 minutes, but fourth-seeded Federer had to see off a serious challenge from 48th-ranked Radek Stepanek of the Czech Republic before coming through 6-2, 6-7 (4), 6-3. Mousa Dembele Belgium Jersey . Pekovic had an MRI test Tuesday on his right ankle that revealed bursitis, which is inflammation of the fluid-filled pad that cushions the joint. http://www.soccerbelgiumteamonline.com/Dries-Mertens-UEFA-European-Belgium-Jersey/ . LOUIS -- The St.MINNEAPOLIS -- Justin Verlanders curveball was snapping, Torii Hunters bat was clicking and the Detroit Tigers appeared to be creeping ever closer to locking up their third straight AL Central title. When their bullpen couldnt hold the lead against Minnesotas anemic offence, another chance to reduce their magic number went swirling down the drain. Josmil Pinto hit an RBI single in the 11th inning and the Twins overcame 12 strikeouts by Verlander to beat the Tigers 4-3 on Monday night. The Tigers led 3-0 in the eighth, but Jose Veras gave up RBI doubles to Eduardo Escobar and pinch-hitter Ryan Doumit. Brian Dozier led off the ninth with a tying homer against previously perfect closer Joaquin Benoit. Dozier opened the 11th with a single off Luke Putkonen (1-2) and advanced on a wild pitch. Pinto punched a single to right field to give manager Ron Gardenhire his 998th career victory. Verlander gave up six hits and walked three in six shutout innings for the Tigers, who entered needing two wins -- or one victory and a loss by idle Cleveland -- to lock up the division. "Obviously, its tough," Verlander said. "Were sitting here knocking on the door and every win counts. It was a tough pill to swallow, but thats the lovely thing about baseball. We come out here tomorrow and we have another day and another crack at a win." Anthony Swarzak (3-2) pitched the 11th for the win. Hunter had two doubles, a single and an RBI for Detroit. Miguel Cabrera had two hits and an RBI while moving gingerly on a sore groin that kept him out of Sundays loss to the White Sox. It was a rare stumble for Benoit, who has stabilized the shaky back end of the bullpen since becoming the full-time closer. He had converted 22 straight save chances this season. But the struggles by Veras caused manager Jim Leyland to go to his closer far earlier than he would have liked, and Benoit came on with one out in the eighth to try for a rare five-out save. "I dont even consider that a blown save because youre asking him to do an awful lot," Leyland said. "Hes been absolutely fantastic. Hes a very, very outstannding pitcher. Nacer Chadli Belgium Jersey. " After three straight underwhelming outings by his lofty standards, Verlander was back to his untouchable self against the overmatched Twins. With his curveball bending and his slider biting as well as they ever have, Verlander struck out the side in the second and third -- and the whiffs kept coming. "He looked like his old self," Dozier said. "His breaking ball was really moving and he was punching guys out." Five times Verlander got the Twins looking for strike three, four of them with wicked curveballs that froze the hitters. One of them buckled Chris Parmelees knees for his 10th strikeout of the game in the fourth inning. Verlander topped 200 strikeouts for the fifth straight year. "I think I had the best breaking ball Ive had all year," Verlander said. "It was really sharp. It was good. I was able to go to it when I wanted to and throw it for strikes." The right-hander had been tagged for 10 earned runs in his last three starts, a bothersome little skid as the playoffs approach. He also entered the night with a pedestrian 13-12 record and 3.66 ERA that is ordinary by his standards. Maybe an outing against the meagre Twins offence will be enough to get him back in the groove. It was Verlanders third double-digit strikeout game of the season, and first since he fanned 13 Pirates on May 27. Mike Pelfrey gave up one run on six hits with five strikeouts and three walks in six innings for the Twins. "The math doesnt change," Leyland said. "Somehow weve got to win two games." NOTES: Prince Fielder played in his 500th straight game. ... The Indians open a series against the White Sox in Cleveland on Tuesday. ... Twins OF Oswaldo Arcia was a late scratch when he bruised his right knee after running into the wall while chasing down a fly ball in batting practice. ... The Twins struck out at least 10 times for the 60th time this season. The previous team high was 26 in 2001. ... Tigers RHP Doug Fister (13-9, 3.71 ERA) will take the mound Tuesday night against Twins LHP Scott Diamond (6-11, 5.54). ' ' '