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Lineup breakdown: Pirates-Cardinals, Game 5


The Pirates were 4-for-31 (.129) in Game 1 of the series, the last time Adam Wainwright started against them. Wainwright will be back on the mound with the stakes much higher in Game 5, and with a trip to the National League Championship Series on the line, the Bucs will need to solve the veteran right-hander.

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Manager Clint Hurdle will go with the same lineup he had in Games 3 and 4, hoping to get more offense than the one hit (a home run) from Pedro Alvarez on Monday.

Alvarez is the hottest hitter in the Bucs' lineup, going into Game 5 batting .385 (5-for-13) in the series with a double and three home runs. Two of Alvarez's homers accounted for the only Pirates' scoring in Games 1 and 4, and beyond his four extra-base hits in the series, the Bucs have five total extra-base hits in all four games combined.

Pittsburgh will need contributions from throughout the lineup, like in Game 2, when the Pirates got at least one hit from eight positions in the batting order, including a two-run single by Game 5 starter Gerrit Cole.

1. Starling Marte, LF
2. Neil Walker, 2B
3. Andrew McCutchen, CF
4. Justin Morneau, 1B
5. Marlon Byrd, RF
6. Alvarez, 3B
7. Russell Martin, C
8. Clint Barmes, SS
9. Cole, SP


Manager Mike Matheny also goes with the same lineup he wrote out for Game 4, giving Pete Kozma another start at short after Daniel Descalso occupied the eighth spot in the order for Games 1 and 2.

The Cards find themselves in a spot very similar to the Pirates, having to face a right-hander who handcuffed them earlier in the series. St. Louis managed just two hits off Bucs starter Gerrit Cole over six innings in Game 2, and will have to figure out a way to produce some runs against the rookie in the decisive contest of the series.

The Cardinals won on Monday to force Game 5, but not with much offensive might, scoring two runs on three hits. They'll need more from Matt Carpenter in the leadoff spot (1-for-15 in the series) and David Freese, who came into the series with a .345 career postseason batting average but is hitting .154 (2-for-13) in the NLDS.

1. Carpenter, 2B
2. Carlos Beltran, RF
3. Matt Holliday, LF
4. Matt Adams, 1B
5. Yadier Molina, C
6. Jon Jay, CF
7. Freese, 3B
8. Kozma, SS
9. Wainwright, SP