Ever since the Pittsburgh Pirates ended a twenty year losing streak in 2013, their games with the St. Louis Cardinals have been very tight. That is what makes their first four matchups so surprising, Pittsburgh came into today with a 4-0 record and looking for a second straight series win and it is only early May.
The Pirates jumped on the board early in the game by putting up two runs in the first inning. Gregory Polanco drove in a run with a single to center and then Jung Ho Kang drove in run number two with a sac fly to right. St. Louis quickly answered in the bottom half of the inning when Randal Grichuk tied the game with a single to left center. Stephen Piscotty then gave the Cardinals the lead with a solo home run in the third.
Three runs is all that Buccos starter Jeff Locke would allow today during his six innings of work. He would allow four hits to go with two walks and one strikeout. John Jaso would drive a run home in the seventh to shut the book on St. Louis starter Adam Wainwright. He left after 7 1/3 innings pitched, allowing seven hits, five strikeouts, and zero walks.
Grichuk drove in what looked to be the winning run in the eighth with a single to center. That was halted in the top of the ninth when Starling Marte hit a ground rule double to tie the game at four in the ninth. Had that ball not hopped the fence, it looked like Pittsburgh would have taken the lead and had closer Mark Melancon pitch the ninth.
Since the game was tied, that led A.J. Schugel to come out of the bullpen. Aledmys Diaz led off the inning with an infield single, which was followed up by Jeremy Hazelbaker flying out to left. That brought Matt Carpenter to the plate, who always seems to come up big against the Pirates, and he would win the game 6-4 on a home run to deep right center.
The Buccos had their chances to win this series today, but St. Louis used that last at bat to their advantage. This series will wrap up tomorrow afternoon with Gerrit Cole taking on Michael Wacha. First pitch is set for 2:15pm.
Record vs. Cardinals: 4-1
Record vs. N.L. Central: 9-8
Record on the Road: 9-7
Overall Record: 16-14
Let’s Go Bucs!