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Nat. briefs: Pirates even series with Cardinals

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press
Friday, October 4, 2013 - 8:41 pm

ST. LOUIS -- Rookie Gerrit Cole gave up two hits in six dominant innings and drove in a run, Pedro Alvarez had a two-run homer and the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the St. Louis Cardinals 7-1 Friday to even their division series at a game apiece.

After taking advantage of several Cardinals mistakes for a convincing win, the Pirates head home for Game 3 at PN Park, where fans raucously celebrated Pittsburgh's return to the postseason.

Wild-card winner Francisco Liriano faces Cardinals right-hander Joe Kelly on Sunday.

Boston 12, Tampa Bay 2

BOSTON — Jon Lester allowed three hits in 7 2-3 innings and the Boston Red Sox took advantage of poor Tampa Bay defense in a five-run fourth to beat the Rays 12-2 on Friday in Game 1 of the AL division series.

Lester gave up a pair of solo homers into the Monster Seats, but he got the lead back when the Rays fell apart in the fourth. One ball fell between two outfielders, another took a bad hop off the Green Monster standings, one batter reached safely on a dropped third strike and another when pitcher Matt Moore was slow to cover first.

By the time it was over, the Red Sox were ahead 5-2 and on their way to the early lead in the best-of-five series. Game 2 is on Saturday at Fenway Park.

Ganassi Racing busy Friday

HOUSTON — Chip Ganassi Racing added another Indianapolis 500 winner to its team Friday and dropped Honda for Chevrolet in an engine manufacturer switch that seemed to be in the works since the start of the season.

Both moves could have a ripple effect throughout the IndyCar paddock.

KV Racing must now replace reigning Indianapolis 500 winner Tony Kanaan, who turned down an offer to return to the team that rescued him just before the start of the 2011 season when Kanaan didn't have a ride. The KV extension didn't require the Brazilian to bring any sponsorship money to the team, but Kanaan chose instead to join Dario Franchitti, Scott Dixon and Charlie Kimball at Ganassi, which next year will field cars for five of the last seven Indy 500 winners.

“I wanted to be in the best teams with the best guys who have been beating me forever. I thought about it every single day,” Kanaan said. “The first question that I asked Chip was, `What do I have to bring?' And he said, `Your helmet.' That was a big weight off of my shoulders.”

KV has its sights set on a handful of other drivers, but topping the wish list is James Hinchcliffe, who is tied with Dixon with a series-best three wins this season. KV is offering the same deal to Hinchcliffe, who wouldn't have to bring sponsorship money to a team for the first time in his career.

Hinchcliffe, in his second season at Andretti Autosport, is still waiting to see what his current team can offer. Andretti failed to come up with an offer during its exclusive negotiating period as the team waited for sponsor GoDaddy to decide if it will continue its involvement in IndyCar, and GoDaddy representatives insist no decision has been made.

Pujols suing Jack Clark over radio comments

ST. LOUIS — Albert Pujols sued Jack Clark on Friday over comments on a local radio show accusing the three-time NL MVP of using steroids.

The lawsuit between former Cardinals stars was filed in Circuit Court in St. Louis County, where Clark lives. It seeks unspecified damages that would be donated to charity, and asks for a determination and declaration that Clark’s statements are false.

The petition says Pujols’ “character and reputation are impeccable and beyond reproach” and cites his charitable work with the Pujols Family Foundation, while calling Clark “a struggling radio talk show host” who was chasing ratings in the first week his new show was on the air.

Pujols, a nine-time All-Star, played for the Cardinals from 2001-11, then left to sign a $240 million, 10-year contract with the Los Angeles Angels.

“My lawyers have told me that the upcoming legal fight will not be an easy one, and that in cases like this even a liar can sometimes be protected under the law,” Pujols said in a statement. “I have never shied away from standing up for the truth, and I believe that the principles at stake are too important to sit back and do nothing.”

“I believe we are all accountable for the things we do and say, and it was important for me to stand up for what was right against those who would seek to drag me down to try and build themselves up,” he said.

The lawsuit came one day after three-time AL MVP Alex Rodriguez sued Major League Baseball and Commissioner Bud Selig in New York for alleged interference with his current and prospective business deals. Rodriguez has a $275 million, 10-year contract with the New York Yankees, the only baseball deal larger than Pujols’ agreement.