Cards Host Pirates

An important NL Central battle is on tap Friday, as the Pittsburgh Pirates open a three-game series against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium. The Pirates are just 1 1/2 games ahead of the Cardinals in the division, but failed to increase that lead on Thursday, as they were denied a three-game sweep of the Milwaukee Brewers with Wednesday's 9-3 loss at Miller Park. Francisco Liriano was hammered in his three innings of work and allowed seven runs and seven hits. Andrew McCutchen homered and newcomer Marlon Byrd added three hits and an RBI for the Pirates, who had won five of seven games. Pittsburgh will also visit Texas on its current road trip and hopes A.J. Burnett can pitch the club back into the win column. Burnett is 7-9 with a 3.09 earned run average in 25 starts and threw seven innings of one-run ball in last Saturday's 7-1 win over the Cardinals. Burnett, a right-hander, is 8-5 with a 3.79 ERA in 16 career starts against the Cardinals. St. Louis, meanwhile, will kick off a nine-game homestand Friday versus the Pirates, Brewers and Mariners, and enters having lost six of eight games. In Thursday's 6-2 loss at Cincinnati in the finale of a four-game set, Lance Lynn was dealt the loss for giving up four runs in five innings. David Freese homered in the loss for the Cardinals, who currently lead the NL wild card race. Joe Kelly gets the start for St. Louis and is 7-3 with a 3.20 earned run average in 32 games this season. Kelly hasn't lost since June 5 and is 7-0 with a 1.72 ERA in his last nine starts. The Cardinals are 8-1 in that time. Kelly has faced the Pirates seven times (3 starts) in his career and is 2-2 with a 3.81 ERA. Pittsburgh is 10-6 against the Cardinals this season.

ATHLETE OF THE WEEK

1 week 20 hours ago

The KLPW Radio Athlete of the Week is Borgia Freshman Golfer Thomas Alferman. Alferman is a member of the Borgia team that qualified for the state tournament at Silo Ridge in Boliver this week. In the district tournament at the Sullivan Country Club, Thomas shot a 13 over par 84 helping the team to a second place finish.

OFF THE CUFF with Diane Jones

4 days 17 hours ago

Commencement, it is said, is a beginning. Yet graduations are also the end of an era--for students and their parents. For the kids, it's a time of excitement and promise. For parents, it's a bit more bittersweet.

What will the future hold for the Class of 2015? Time will tell.

My youngest has now graduated from high school. Back in 1980, I was the youngest of my family who graduated.

OFF THE CUFF ARCHIVE

SPORTS CORNER

2 days 6 hours ago

Alex Gordon hit a two-run homer and the Kansas City Royals beat the St. Louis Cardinals 3-2 on Saturday in a game that was shortened to six innings because of inclement weather. Edinson Volquez (4-3) allowed two runs on four hits for Kansas