PITTSBURGH -- Pinch-runner Josh Harrison stood on second base in the bottom of the eighth inning and pointed to Pittsburgh Pirates third base coach Nick Leyva. "I told him to get that arm ready, because Im coming," Harrison said. Moments later, Harrison was streaking across home plate to give the Pirates the lead. Minutes after that, the Jolly Roger thats been a fixture on the Pittsburgh skyline all summer climbed up the flagpole again. Harrison scored on Pedro Alvarezs tiebreaking single Sunday, sending the Pirates to a 5-3 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals that staked Pittsburgh to a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five NL division series. Russell Martin followed with a sharp RBI single against reliever Kevin Siegrist, who took over after Carlos Martinez (0-1) faltered. The go-ahead single was the latest big hit by Alvarez. He homered in the first two games against St. Louis and is 4 for 10 with four RBIs in the series. Alvarez also kept the Pirates famous flag flying high in October. "Raise the Jolly Roger!" is the rallying cry for this wild-card team, now one victory from its first post-season series win since Willie Stargell, Dave Parker and the "We Are Family" gang won it all in 1979. "Were continuing to surprise a lot of people, I believe. Were continuing to show people that were not done, that were not just happy to be in the post-season," star centre fielder Andrew McCutchen said. "Were fighting to win a World Series." Heady territory for a franchise that had endured a record 20 consecutive years of losing coming into this season. Six months later, the Pirates are on the cusp of knocking out baseball royalty. Mark Melancon (1-0) picked up the win despite allowing Carlos Beltrans tying home run in the top of the eighth. Jason Grilli worked the ninth for a save. Charlie Morton is set to start for Pittsburgh in Game 4 on Monday against rookie Michael Wacha. Beltran finished 2 for 3 with three RBIs. His 16th playoff home run moved him past Babe Ruth for eighth place in post-season history. "Its a must-win tomorrow for us," Beltran said. "Hopefully we can come here tomorrow, take care of business, win and go play the last game at home." Beltrans shot temporarily silenced a rocking crowd at PNC Park. It also set the stage for another dramatic win by the Pirates. McCutchen led off the eighth with his second hit, a double to left. But the NL MVP candidate unwisely tried to advance on Justin Morneaus grounder to shortstop and was an easy out at third. Harrison ran for Morneau and moved up when Marlon Byrd walked. St. Louis manager Mike Matheny turned to a lefty in Siegrist to face the left-handed Alvarez. The Pittsburgh slugger tied for the NL lead with 36 homers during the regular season, but hit just .180 against lefties. "I just knew it was going to be a tough matchup," Alvarez said. "Ive seen him a couple of times before. I havent had much success. Hes a pitcher with good stuff -- great stuff. He threw me a couple of fastballs out over the plate." One too many, as it turned out, and Alvarez singled between first and second. Martin then fouled off a squeeze bunt before lining a hit to left that gave Grilli more than enough cushion. The game was a rare nail-biter between two clubs that spent the summer shadowing each other in the race for the NL Central title. Coming into Sunday, only five of the previous 21 matchups between the two were decided by two runs or less. After blowouts by each club in St. Louis, there wasnt much room to breathe in front of a frenzied, black-clad crowd looking for a repeat of Pittsburghs giddy 6-2 romp over Cincinnati in the wild-card game last Tuesday. Martins sacrifice fly off reliever Seth Maness in the sixth gave the Pirates a 3-2 lead and turned the game over to Pittsburghs "Shark Tank" bullpen, one of the keys to the franchises first winning season and playoff berth in a generation. Tony Watson worked around a one-out single in the seventh before giving way to Melancon. The Cardinals must win two straight to advance to the NL championship series for the third straight year. "Weve been in this situation," Beltran said. "Last year, I think we were in this situation a lot. So I think were fine, man. We want to come here tomorrow, we want to win and hopefully take this series home." Pirates starter Francisco Liriano dominated the Cardinals during the regular season, going 3-0 with an 0.75 ERA in three starts against the NLs highest-scoring team. He was electric against the Reds last Tuesday, shaking off a sinus infection and baffling them with a series of changeups and sliders that ended Cincinnatis season and manager Dusty Bakers tenure. Liriano narrowly escaped damage in the third Sunday when Matt Holliday lined to right with the bases loaded. The left-hander wasnt quite as fortunate in the fifth. Jon Jay led off with a single and Pete Kozma followed with a walk. After pitcher Joe Kelly struck out trying to bunt, a double steal set up Beltrans two-run single. At 2-all, the Cardinals had matched their entire output against Liriano in their previous 28 innings. Liriano was matched nearly pitch for pitch by the unflappable Kelly. The 25-year-old right-hander has been rock-steady all season, even as he moved from middle reliever to starter in July. Kelly welcomed the hostile environment, calling the sea of black-clad fans that awaited him one of the things a kid dreams about. The reality proved a little more unnerving, at least when Byrd hit a two-run single in the first. The well-travelled outfielder -- who played in 1,250 regular-season games before reaching the playoffs for the first time -- has been a welcome jolt both in the lineup and in the clubhouse for the Pirates. "Just having a heck of a time," Byrd said. NOTES: Grilli worked around a leadoff single in the ninth. ... McCutchen is batting .538 (7 for 13) and has an on-base percentage of .684 in the playoffs. His five walks rank first in the league this post-season. ... Beltrans home run was the first by the Cardinals in 10 games at PNC Park this year. Nike Shoes From China . Josh Mazzola drove in five runs to lead the Goldeyes (20-12) past the Capitales 11-5 Friday night at Le Stade Municipal in Quebec City. Jordan From China . PETERSBURG, Fla. https://www.chinashoes.us/. The Montreal Alouettes announced Tuesday that they have acquired the return specialist from Calgary, as well as the Stampeders fifth-round draft pick in the 2014 CFL Canadian Draft. Fake China Shoes . A judge had summoned Clemens and Brian McNamee to federal court in Brooklyn for settlement talks aimed at heading off a trial in the defamation case. McNamees lawyer emerged saying an agreement wasnt likely. "I think this is a case where the lines are deeply drawn in the sand," said attorney Richard Emery. China Shoes Online .Y. - Geno Smith still thinks of himself as the New York Jets starting quarterback.TORONTO - Centre Greg McKegg scored twice and goalie Christopher Gibson made 31 saves to lead the Toronto Marlies over the visiting Hamilton Bulldogs 4-1 in American Hockey League action on Sunday. Sam Carrick and Jerry DAmigo, with an empty-netter, also scored as part of a three-goal third period that broke the game open for Toronto. Josh Leivo, Spencer Aboott and Jerrod Smithson collected two assists apiece in front of an announced crowd of 6,399 at Ricoh Coliseum. The Marlies won their second consecutive game to improve to 36-19-5 and bolster their first-place standing in the North Division. Justin Courtnall had the lone goal for the Bulldogs, who lost for the fifth time in six games to drop to 26-30-5. Bulldogs netminder Robert Mayer made 21 saves in a losing effort. The game was tied 1-1 after the first period and stayed that way through 40 minutes. A turnover by the Marlies in the defensive zone led to the games openning goal.dddddddddddd Bulldogs centre Joonas Nattinen corralled the loose puck in the corner and passed off to Courtnall, who curled into the slot and beat a screened Gibson with a backhander at 11:36. The Marlies tied the game less than two minutes later when Leivo threaded a pass through the crease to McKegg, who lifted the puck into the gaping net for a power-play goal at 13:14. After a scoreless second period, Carrick gave the Marlies a 2-1 edge when he beat Mayer low to the stick side with a wrist shot from the slot at 6:08 of the third period. McKegg put Toronto up by a pair when he buried a rebound from the slot at 11:17. DAmigo closed out the scoring with an empty-netter at 18:30 Hamilton was 0-for-2 on the power play while Toronto went 1-for-2 with the man advantage. The Marlies and Bulldogs are off until Wednesday, when Toronto visits the Lake Erie Monsters and Hamilton hosts the Abbotsford Heat. ' ' '