Pittsburgh, PA ( - The standing-room crowd bathed in a sea of black and yellow serenaded Johnny Cueto with jeers and went into a frenzy when Marlon Byrd and Russell Martin smacked home runs in the second inning. What a way to let out 21 years of frustration. Postseason baseball is back in the Steel City. Francisco Liriano fired seven innings of one-run ball and Martin cracked a pair of solo shots as the Pittsburgh Pirates defeated the Cincinnati Reds, 6-2, in the National League wild-card game. The Pirates will move on to the NLDS where they will face the top-seeded St. Louis Cardinals. Game 1 of that series is set for Thursday at Busch Stadium. After teasing its fans with a pair of second-half collapses, Pittsburgh put it all together in 2013 to finish above .500 (94-68) for the first time 1992. It was the first playoff game at PNC Park and the first in Pittsburgh since Game 5 of the 1992 NLCS. The Pirates, who were one game ahead of the Reds heading into the season's final three-game set, swept their NL Central foes in Cincinnati to secure home-field advantage for the wild-card game. It wasn't just any home-field edge. After the 36-year-old Byrd clobbered a solo blast into the left-field seats in his first ever postseason at-bat to lead off the second, the Pittsburgh faithful burst into chants of "Cueto" "Cueto" "Cueto" during Russell's trip to the plate two batters later. When Cueto proceeded to lose grip of the ball from his glove, it only urged the fans further as the deafening chant reverberated across PNC Park. One pitch later, Martin crushed a fastball that hovered over the heart of the plate into the left-field seats to give the Pirates a 2-0 lead. It was plenty of help for Liriano (1-0), who fanned five and surrendered just four hits and a walk to pick up his first career playoff win.

Read or Share this story: