If this five-game series against the first-place St. Louis Cardinals is a chance for the Pirates to make a statement they didn't wait long to clear their throats.
And as the game went on the Cardinals couldn't shut them up.
The Pirates grabbed a four-run lead in the first inning added five in the seventh and clubbed the Cardinals 9-2 Monday night at PNC Park.
"It's a big series and everybody knows that" said shortstop Clint Barmes who went 2 for 4 with two doubles two RBIs and a run.
"These are the games that get you excited. The way that it turned ... it was a big win just to kind of kick off the series."
In the thick of it all Francisco Liriano delivered another gem to pick up his team-leading 11th victory this season.
"This was a great win for us" Liriano said. "I just went out there doing the same things I've done before trying to keep the team in the game and go deeper in the game."

Liriano struck out eight batters in seven innings allowing one earned run and four hits to improve to 11-4 while getting a decision in all of his 15 starts with the Pirates.
He threw 102 pitches 61 for strikes.
Pedro Alvarez paved the way with a three-run homer in the first his 27th and the Pirates' first three-run homer since June 25.
It was only their sixth three-run homer this season.

The Pirates' five-run seventh was buoyed by Barmes' two-out two-RBI double.
With the win the Pirates (62-42) move within a half game of the Cardinals (62-41) for the top spot in the National League Central division.
But with four more games in this series -- including two today -- manager Clint Hurdle said the Pirates aren't trying to add any more significance to the task in front of them.