Falling into the offseason: Pirates swept to finish 2016 backpedal

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Andrew McCutchen fails to field Yadier Molina's RBI single. - GETTY

ST. LOUIS -- The Pirates' season started with a promising sweep of the Cardinals at PNC Park. It ended in opposite fashion, befitting their end-of-year plummet.

A six-run bottom of the seventh boosted St. Louis to a 10-4 win on Sunday afternoon at Busch Stadium, handing the Pirates three consecutive losses to finish the regular season. They went 11-22 with a tie over the final five weeks of the year, falling from a half-game out of the playoff field to 8 1/2 out by the end of Sunday.

Andrew McCutchen hit a two-run single in the fifth and John Jaso lifted a tying two-run homer in the top of the seventh, but Juan Nicasio and Wade LeBlanc combined to surrender six runs in the bottom half.

"We had three ballgames here that we didn't finish," Clint Hurdle said. "Still have players who can play who need to make plays."