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Previewing Saturday's Pirates-Cardinals game

| Friday, April 25, 2014, 10:19 p.m.

X-factors

• Tyler Lyons began the season in Triple-A and was called up to replace Joe Kelly, who's on the DL with a strained left hamstring. Lyons made eight starts last season and went 2-4 with a 4.75 ERA. He faced the Pirates on July 30 and took the loss after allowing three runs in six innings.

• Maybe homesickness has played a part in the Cardinals' early season struggles. This is the first time since 1927 that they have played 26 of their first 38 games on the road. They are 8-9 so far away from Busch Stadium. Last year, St. Louis played at home for just 17 of its first 38 games; it went 14-7 on the road in that stretch.

The Buzz

All-Star Game ballots were released Friday. Although he's started only eight of 24 games, Gaby Sanchez is listed as the Pirates' representative among first baseman on the ballot. Votes will be collected at PNC Park from May 3 to June 19. Collection periods at other ballparks vary so every team will have the same number of home dates.

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