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Former Stinger makes his mark

ST. LOUIS--It was a night for former St. Louis Cardinals and one rookie to shine in Busch Stadium. Eric Fryer drove in three runs and David Freese contributed to both of the Pittsburgh Pirates' rallies Tuesday night as they tied their season long...

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Pittsburgh Pirates and former Willmar Stingers pitcher Steven Brault delivers a first-inning pitch against the St. Louis Cardinals in his first Major League Baseball start at Busch Stadium on Tuesday in St. Louis. Jeff Curry | USA TODAY Sports.

ST. LOUIS-It was a night for former St. Louis Cardinals and one rookie to shine in Busch Stadium.

Eric Fryer drove in three runs and David Freese contributed to both of the Pittsburgh Pirates' rallies Tuesday night as they tied their season long winning streak with a 5-2 verdict over St. Louis.

Former Willmar Stinger left-hander Steven Brault made his Major League Baseball debut. He was called up Monday to start in place of an ailing Jameson Taillon.

Brault allowed two runs, one earned, in four innings. He surrendered four hits and two walks to go along with five strikeouts. He threw 82 pitches, 51 of which were strikes.

Brault also showed off his skills at the plate, singling off St. Louis starter Mike Leake in his only at bat.

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The La Mesa, California, native was a strong two-way player in a two-season stint in Willmar.

In 34 career games, he hit .326 with two home runs and 24 RBIs.

But he made his biggest impact on the mound.

In nine appearances (three starts) Brault went 3-0 with a 1.04 ERA, 14 walks and 48 strikeouts.

His tied the club's single-game record with 10 strikeouts in 2012, then captured it outright in 2013, fanning 13 in a game at Rochester.

Brault left the Stingers in June of 2013 after being drafted by the Orioles. He compiled a 27-12 record with a 2.51 ERA in his minor league career.

Brault becomes the second Stinger player to make it to the majors, joining Jacob Barnes, a Milwaukee Brewers reliever who has appeared in 12 games since making his MLB debut in June.

Freese, the 2011 World Series Most Valuable Player, doubled and scored in a two-run fifth. An inning later, he snapped a 2-2 tie when he poked an RBI single up the middle and through a drawn-in infield that scored Andrew McCutchen.

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Fryer, playing his first game for Pittsburgh (43-41) since being picked up off waivers Sunday from the Cardinals, dumped a two-out, two-run double down the right field line off Mike Leake (5-7) that scored Freese and Jordy Mercer for a three-run advantage.

Given that cushion, the Pirate bullpen nailed it down. Juan Nicasio (7-6) worked two scoreless innings, followed by Arquimedes Caminero, Tony Watson and Mark Melancon for an inning each. Melancon earned his 25th save in 26 chances.

Leake, who cruised through the first four innings on just 44 pitches, ended up allowing nine hits and five runs over six innings. He walked none and struck out three.

St. Louis (43-40) remained nine games behind the first-place Chicago Cubs in the National League Central and lost its ninth straight home game against a team with a winning record, dating back to June 14.

St. Louis initiated scoring in the second inning when Jedd Gyorko ripped an RBI single to left, scoring Stephen Piscotty, whose leadoff fly ball to the warning track in right-center clanked off the glove of right fielder Gregory Polanco for a three-base error.

An inning later, Matt Holliday made it 2-0 with a two-out run-scoring single to center that plated Aledmys Diaz. Diaz drew a two-out walk and stole second, just the Cardinals' 19th steal of the year.

Pittsburgh responded in the fifth, tying the game with RBI singles by Josh Harrison and Fryer.

Pirates starter Steven Brault lasted four innings in his big league debut, allowing four hits and two runs, one earned. He walked two and fanned five.

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NOTES: Pittsburgh made room for Tuesday night's starting pitcher LHP Steven Brault by placing RHP Jameson Taillon (right shoulder fatigue) on the 15-day DL. ... C Jacob Stallings was designated for assignment. ... St. Louis put 1B/OF Brandon Moss, its top home run hitter with 17, on the 15-day DL with a left ankle sprain and recalled OF Randal Grichuk from Triple-A Memphis. Grichuk was expected to arrive during Tuesday night's game. ... Pirates RHP Gerrit Cole (right triceps strain) made his first rehab start Tuesday night for Triple-A Indianapolis. Cole was put on the disabled list on June 14.

Related Topics: WILLMAR STINGERS
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