In last night’s loss to the St. Louis Cardinals, the Pittsburgh Pirates offense was virtually non-existent. Tonight, unfortunately, the same trend continued, as despite another strong performance from their starter, they weren’t able to put together enough of an offensive effort to come away with a victory.
Prior to today’s game, the Bucs and their fans received some terrible news, as Starling Marte was suspended for 80 games after testing positive for performance enhancing drugs. Jose Osuna was recalled from Indianapolis and did make an appearance in the game tonight.
For the second straight night at Busch Stadium, it was a solid pitching matchup between the two starters. Chad Kuhl lasted six innings, giving up two runs on three hits, while Mike Leake gave up one run on seven hits in 6.1 innings.
The Cardinals took the lead in the first inning. Dexter Fowler led off the game with a triple, and later scored on a ground ball hit by Stephen Piscotty. They added another run in the fifth on an RBI double by Greg Garcia, scoring Jose Martinez.
Pittsburgh got on the board in the sixth inning, but had the opportunity to do much more than that. Adam Frazier led off with a single and later moved to third on a double by Andrew McCutchen, putting runners on second and third with only one out. Gregory Polanco’s groundout scored Frazier, but David Freese grounded out to end the inning. While the Pirates cut the lead in half, they still trailed after six innings.
Freese and Francisco Cervelli hit back to back singles to start the ninth. With one out, Jordy Mercer hit an infield single, loading the bases with one out for Phil Gosselin. The Bucs’ pinch hitter grounded into a force at home for the second out, and Frazier flew out to end the game.
The Bucs got runners on base in the later innings, but they weren’t able to produce any more runs, and came up just one run short tonight. This has been frustrating series thus far as the Bucs have pitched very well against a division opponent, but they haven’t been able to get anything going offensively. The bats were hot this past weekend in Chicago, but have been ineffective so far in St. Louis.
Pittsburgh will look to avoid the series sweep as they take the field tomorrow afternoon against the Cardinals. Gerrit Cole will take the mound for the Bucs against Michael Wacha for the Cardinals. First pitch is scheduled for 1:45pm.
Record vs. Cardinals: 0-2
Record vs. N.L. Central: 3-5
Record on the Road: 3-5
Overall Record: 6-8
Let’s Go Bucs!