Four in a row?


Maybe the fifth time is a charm.

The Pirates have tried — unsuccessfully — four times already this season to string together four victories. They’ll ride another three-game winning streak into tonight’s game against the Cardinals.

The last time the Bucs won four in a row was Aug. 17-22, 2009.

»»» Tonight will be Paul Maholm’s 31st start of the year. He’s the first Pirates lefty to start at least 30 games in three straight seasons since Bob Veale, who did it seven seasons in a row from 1964-70.

»»» Stats, streaks and slumps: The Pirates have won three of their last four series at PNC Park. Overall, their series record at home this year is 10-11-3. … The Pirates have recorded at least one extra-base hit in a season-high 32 straight games. That matches their longest streak last season.

Lineups for tonight’s game:

Cardinals (76-72) – 1. Tyler Greene 2b, 2. Allen Craig rf, 3. Albert Pujols 1b, 4. Matt Holliday lf, 5. Yadier Molina c, 6. Colby Rasmus cf, 7. Pedro Feliz 3b, 8. Jake Westbrook (8-10, 4.22) rhp, 9. Brendan Ryan ss

Pirates (51-98) – 1. Andrew McCutchen cf, 2. Jose Tabata lf, 3. Neil Walker 2b, 4. Garrett Jones 1b, 5. Pedro Alvarez 3b, 6. Ryan Doumit c, 7. John Bowker rf, 8. Ronny Cedeno ss, 9. Paul Maholm (7-15, 5.36) lhp