ST. LOUIS —
By ending Pittsburgh's storybook season, the Cardinals improved to 8-1 when facing postseason elimination the past three years. They also won Game 5 of the NL division series in Washington last year — even though Wainwright got rocked — and at Philadelphia in 2011.
The 23-year-old Cole beat the Cardinals with an impressive effort in Game 2. They got to him early this time on Freese's homer even though the right-hander's fastball hit 100 mph in the first inning against Matt Holliday.
Jay made it 3-0 in the sixth with a two-out RBI single off reliever Justin Wilson.
Adams connected in the eighth against Mark Melancon to make it 5-1. Pete Kozma added an RBI infield single, and Wainwright finished it off by striking out Pedro Alvarez with two on.
Alvarez became the first player with an RBI in his first six postseason games on a fluke hit that caromed off first base in the seventh. But the Pirates, who stopped a record streak of 20 consecutive losing seasons this year, were held to one run in each of the final two games of their first playoff appearance since 1992.
"We were able to take a huge step forward this year in restoring the pride and the passion of the Pittsburgh Pirates' organization," Hurdle said, "and rebonding our city with a ball team."
Despite their charming turnaround and a victory over Cincinnati in the NL wild-card game, the Pirates haven't won a postseason series since the 1979 World Series.
"We're definitely not happy that it's been cut short," Alvarez said. "We have to feed off of this and learn from this and keep gaining experience."
Alvarez didn't find out about the RBI achievement until after the game.
"It doesn't resonate with me," he said. "At the end of the day we're going home early."