Pedro Alvarez went 2-for-4 with a key two run homer today. (Photo Credit: David Hague)

Coming into this series, a lot of people said that Pedro Alvarez could be the key for the Pittsburgh Pirates to beat the St. Louis Cardinals. The Cardinals have a rotation full of right-handed starters, and only have two left-handed relievers in the bullpen. That's a favorable matchup for Alvarez, who had an .842 OPS in 425 at-bats this year against right-handers, compared to a .537 OPS in 133 at-bats against lefties. Also, 33 of his 36 homers were against right-handers.

So far, Alvarez has been a key to the offense this series. His home run on Thursday was pretty meaningless, considering the Cardinals beat the Pirates by eight runs. Still, he was the only player to do any damage off Adam Wainwrigh...

To celebrate the upcoming MLB draft, we’re offering a big subscription discount of 18% off from now through the draft , so that you can follow all of our updates and coverage.To get the discount, use the code MLBDRAFT for an Annual subscription, or MLBDRAFT3 for a Top Prospect Plan.

To continue reading the rest of this article, subscribe to Pirates Prospects. Subscribers get access to every article on the site, along with all of our exclusive live coverage of the Pirates' minor league system, all for a very low monthly or yearly rate.

If you're already a member, you can log in below. If you think you're receiving this message in error, please e-mail tim@piratesprospects.com.