ST. 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. Cheap Wholesale Jerseys. Manager Ron Gardenhire said that Casilla had difficulty running Saturday when the second baseman tested his legs before the Twins played the Cleveland Indians. Wholesale Jerseys. That didnt stop the Vikings from cutting ties with the former University of Georgia standout. The Vikings cut King just hours after he was released from jail. The team did not comment on the decision, instead announcing it in a one-sentence press release. http://www.cheapjerseyssunshine.com/. The 114th-ranked Lorenzi broke Monacos serve to go up 4-3 in the decisive set and held on to close the match in 2 hours, 34 seconds at the Ibirapuera Arena. The 32-year-old Italian squandered a match point before losing the second set, but was in control in the third to pick up the win. nfl jerseys outlet. -- Nearly three months after their home opener, the Anaheim Ducks still havent lost a game in regulation at Honda Center. Cheap nfl Jerseys. Kershaw (6-3) gave up just two hits and a walk with 10 strikeouts to finish May with a 4-0 record over six starts, giving up just eight runs over 40 2/3 innings. He also went 2-for-4 at the plate with an RBI and two runs scored. It was a good day out there as getting the runs early was huge, said Kershaw. ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Last year, the Chicago Blackhawks gave the Minnesota Wild a quick exit from the playoffs. This year, the Wild are giving the defending Stanley Cup champions all they can handle. Jason Pominville and Matt Cooke scored first-period goals and Darcy Kuemper made 33 saves and the Minnesota Wild defeated the Chicago Blackhawks 2-1 on Thursday night. After losing a five-game series in the first round of last years playoffs, the Wild have won three of four against the Blackhawks this season. "I know we get geared up to play that team," Wild coach Mike Yeo said. "I think the fact that weve played them as much as we have, I think our guys are confident going into the game knowing we can play with them. "Obviously theyre such a great team, and we have so much respect for them, we havent taken any nights off against that hockey team." Kuemper was making his sixth consecutive start as Minnesotas top two goalies, Josh Harding and Niklas Backstrom, have been sidelined with health problems. The Wild are 5-3 with rookie in the net this season. "Im pretty confident right now," Kuemper said. "Obviously I just want to go in there and every time I get a chance, help the team win. And when youre getting wins like this, obviously its easy to keep rolling and come to the rink every day with a smile." Patrick Kane spoiled Kuempers shutout bid when he scored his 24th goal of the season with 31.2 seconds left to bring the Blackhawks to within one. But Kuemper stopped one final flurry in the last 10 seconds and Zach Parise cleared the puck from Minnesotas zone to run out the clock. Pominville opened the scoring at 8:08 of the first period. Dany Heatley carried the puck across the Chicago blue line and passed to Mikael Granlund near the goal mouth. Granlund spun back around and slid the puck across the slot, where Pominville was waiting to send it in the open net for his 20th of the season. "Hes the type of player that doesnt really need to know Im there," Pominville said of Granlund. "He just has a feel for it." The Blackhawks killed off a 5-on-3 power play, but Minnesota doubled its lead late iin the first period.dddddddddddd Justin Fontaine won a race to a loose puck and tipped it to Cooke, who slipped it past Antti Raanta from the left faceoff circle. "They made a decent play," Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said. "After the big kill that was a deflating goal, but there was still a lot of hockey left." Raanta, who entered the game with a 12-1-3 record this season, was upset with himself after the game for putting his team in a 2-0 hole early. "Their first goal was pretty nice, tic-tac-toe, but the second one was too easy," Raanta said. "When they get two goals in the first period youre behind all the time. Its much harder to play because Minnesota was defensively so good. Every goal counts and today there was one easy goal so thats not a good thing." Kuemper got a little help from his defence to keep it 2-0 late in the second. During a Minnesota power play, Pominville tripped at the Chicago blue line and Marian Hossa pounced for a short-handed breakaway. But defenceman Ryan Suter caught up to Hossa just in time to prevent him from getting a clean shot. Kanes goal prevented them from being shut out for the first time in 120 games, but the Blackhawks lost in regulation for only the second time since Dec. 15. "Theyre the best team in the league and ... theyre going to see every teams best game. Its pretty impressive what theyre doing, even this year," said Parise, who returned to the lineup after missing 14 games with a broken left foot. "For whatever reason, our game elevates when we play them. And I thought ... we did a good job of containing their top players. Other than Kane getting that one at the end, we did a pretty good job of neutralizing them." Notes: Blackhawks D Duncan Keith missed his first game of the season Thursday. He was a pregame scratch due to illness. ... Blackhawks senior adviser Scotty Bowman is scheduled to have right knee replacement surgery Friday in Tampa, Fla. The 13-time Stanley Cup champion has a residence about an hour from Tampa. ... Kuempers mask broke during the second period, and he used Backstroms mask for about 10 minutes while it was being fixed. ' ' '