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PITTSBURGH — What the Cardinals' bullpen needed more than the parade of newcomers that have cycled through the clubhouse in the past week was a starter to rise up and give them most of the night off.

Enter Dakota Hudson.

The Cardinals' rookie starter allowed the first three batters he faced to reach base and all three scored on a three-run homer. And that was it. Hudson found his footing and pressed on through 6 1/3 stout innings to carry the Cardinals eventual lead to the bullpen for a 4-3 victory Tuesday night at PNC Park. Paul Goldschmidt hit a home run to tie the game, and Jose Martinez's 10th home run of the season put the Cardinals ahead in the fifth inning.

The Cardinals have won nine of their past 11 games.

Hudson got the game into the seventh inning. Giovanny Gallegos took over from there and Andrew Miller handled the ninth for a save.

Hudson allowed three runs on six hits and three walks. Three of those hits came in the first inning, and two of the walks came in the fifth inning. He struck out Josh Bell with the bases loaded in the fifth to keep the Pirates frozen at three runs and keep his start afloat. 

The Cardinals got a run in the second inning when Kolten Wong doubled to score Paul DeJong. In the third, Martinez singled up the middle, and Goldschmidt followed with his second homer in as many days. He has six RBIs in the series -- including a grand slam to win Monday's game and the two-run shot to tie Tuesday's. The homer Tuesday was Goldschmidt's 20th of the season.

In the fifth, against Pirates starter Chris Archer, Martinez hit a solo homer to right-center field to break the 3-3 tie.

***

Reliever roulette continues for Cardinals, promoting Mayers and possibly losing Shreve

The Cardinals' pressurized use of their bullpen accelerated the timetable for reliever and could have cost them another.

To address what could become an inning deficiency as soon as Tuesday in the bullpen, the Cardinals brought righthander Mike Mayers back from his rehab assignment several days earlier than played. In order to make room on the 40-man roster and active roster for the reliever, the Cardinals designated reliever Chasen Shreve for assignment. This is the second time this season that Shreve has been designated for assignment, and that means if he clears waivers he can elect to be come a free agent.

On the verge of the trade deadline, it is likely that he'll be snapped off of waivers by any of the numerous teams looking for lefty depth or he'll find a major-league job soon after the deadline dust settles.

Mayers wll be available Tuesday night.

The righthander has been on the injured list since April with a lat strain. The Cardinals moved him to the 60-day injured list about a month ago, and that necessitated the move to create a spot for him on the 40-man roster.

The Cardinals planned to have Mayers complete his 30-day rehab assignment at Class AAA Memphis and then make a roster move Friday to bring him back from Triple-A. Mayers is out of options, and once his rehab assignment ran out of time the Cardinals' choices were limited. They could trade him, move him back to the injured list, or promote him. The team suggested by Friday he would be promoted.

The need for him came quicker than scheduled with the recent use of the bullpen. Relievers have covered more innings than starters in the previous week, and on Monday, as the Cardinals opened a four-game series against Pittsburgh, the bullpen had to cover seven innings of a 6-5 victory. Starter Daniel Ponce de Leon pitched only three.

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The Cardinals do not expect to have Carlos Martinez available Tuesday night and possibly Wednesday. Giovanny Gallegos should be back in the mix and available. They have wanted to give John Brebbia a breather. And Tyler Webb absorbed two innings of work Monday night. Michael Wacha, the team's longer reliever, pitched three innings and allowed a run. Whether he could bounce back for one inning Tuesday is a question.

The usage of the bullpen does put Dakota Hudson in position to carry the game for awhile Tuesday night, regardless of how successful he is early.

Here's the lineup that will back him:

1. Tommy Edman, 3B

2. Jose Martinez, RF

3. Paul Goldschmidt, 1B

4. Tyler O'Neill, LF

5. Matt Wieters, C

6. Paul DeJong, SS

7. Kolten Wong, 2B

8. Yairo Munoz, CF

9. Dakota Hudson, P

Check back through the afternoon and evening for any additional news or notes or anecdotes that might shake loose from the banks of the Allegheny River at the base of the Clemente Bridge.

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