A blowout a shutout a walk-off and a comeback. In these past four games the Pirates have shown they can win nearly any way possible.

More importantly they have shown they can win when it matters most.

In what was billed as the biggest series in PNC Park history the Pirates now have a chance to go for a five-game sweep after beating the St. Louis Cardinals 5-4 Wednesday night in come-from-behind fashion.

The Pirates wrestled first place in the National League Central Division from St. Louis Tuesday. Wednesday they ensured that the Cardinals will leave Pittsburgh with the Pirates in first.

"Sure I imagined it" reliever Tony Watson said. "But any time it's an actual reality it would be nice."

Russell Martin's eighth-inning single drove in the winning run scoring Neil Walker from second to seal a win in a game in which the Pirates trailed by as many as two.

Walker hit a leadoff single and moved into scoring position with some aggressive baserunning. Pedro Alvarez flied out to deep left but Walker tagged up at first and dashed to second with two outs.
"That's a key in these close games; it's the small things" Walker said.

It was the 25th comeback win this season for the Pirates (65-42) who extended their NL Central lead to 2 1/2 games and handed the Cardinals (62-44) a seventh consecutive loss their longest losing streak under manager Mike Matheny.

"This is the second game of these four that we were right there and had opportunities to do something with and had a different look" Matheny said. "Still making some hard outs but it's the big hit. That's what usually differentiates a game like this."

These wins have shown the Pirates won't shrink in the spotlight said shortstop Clint Barmes who has watched young players evolve to embrace big games late in the season.