Berkman Lifts Cardinals Past Pirates

by Zane Heiple

Photo by Getty Images

Tough losses have been a theme for the Pittsburgh Pirates throughout the 2011 season.  Tonight’s game can be added to that list.  James McDonald was on the hill for Pittsburgh tonight and other than a rough third inning that saw the St. Louis Cardinals score three runs, he was effective over the course of the six innings that he pitched.  He would strike out five batters, walk three, while giving up five hits.

The Pirates offense struck early off of Cardinals starter Jake Westbrook.  After Jose Tabata walked and Alex Presley doubled, Andrew McCutchen would single in a run with a hit to left field.  Ryan Doumit followed that up with a single of his own that brought Presley in to score.  To finish off the scoring for the inning, Josh Harrison would hit a sacrifice fly to right field.

After St. Louis countered with three runs of their own in the second, the Buccos would regain the lead in the fourth inning when Tabata hit a double to right field that brought home Ronny Cedeno.  This would be the final run Pittsburgh scored on the night and the fate of the game would rest on the bullpen beginning in the seventh inning.

Jason Grilli would replace McDonald, and take down the three batters he faced.  The trouble for the Pirates pen came in the eighth inning with Jose Veras.  Veras would begin the inning by striking out Albert Pujols.  After he walked Matt Holiday, Lance Berkman hit what would be a two run home run that put the Cards ahead for good.  The Buccos would go 1-2-3 in the ninth inning, and fall 5-4 to St. Louis.

Pittsburgh will get a third shot at the Cardinals tomorrow afternoon at 4:11pm on FOX.  Jeff Karstens will take on Chris Carpenter.  This will be an important game for the Pirates if they hope to earn a split with St. Louis.

Record vs. Cardinals:  5-6
Record vs. N.L. Central:  30-30
Record on the Road:  30-33
Overall Record:  61-70


As Always…

Let’s Go Bucs!!!

Zane Heiple

Zane is Co-Editor of Fans From The Stands and a weekly contributor for Armchair Report on NFL, NHL, NBA, MLB, and NCAA related topics. He's also the smartest man in the world. Just ask him.

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