PITTSBURGH -- With his two-homer game on Tuesday, Pedro Alvarez reached five multi-homer games for his career, tying Aramis Ramirez and Richie Hebner for the Pirates' club record for third basemen. Alvarez did so in his 286th career game, another "A-ha!" moment in his season that has also had plenty of "Oh-oh" pauses. There was something extraordinary about this most recent double-salvo, packaged in a four-hit game -- a career second -- that sparked the Bucs to a 9-0 victory over the Cardinals. This time, it wasn't "what" as much as "where."
Alvarez's first shot off a down-and-away Jake Westbrook pitch left PNC Park at its deepest point, the North Side Notch in left-center, above the 410-foot mark. "We've only seen three left-handed hitters put a ball out to the left of the Notch, and now he's one of them," noted Pirates manager Clint Hurdle. "To take a pitch in that spot and hit it where he did, that's special. But the second ..." Alvarez sent that, off right-handed reliever Brandon Dickson in the sixth inning, 469 feet to straightaway center. The longest home run out of PNC Park by a Pirates player also sent Dickson all the way to Memphis; he was optioned to Triple-A by the Cardinals prior to Wednesday night's game. "I thought that was going to hit the [Roberto Clemente] Bridge," Hurdle said. After Alvarez returned to the dugout, the crowd cheered for him to come back out and take a bow. "When fans ask for you, it's a big honor for me," Alvarez said. "That was the first time that happened to me, and it was a big thrill and honor. So ... thanks."