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Cardinals Rally Late, Beat Pirates 4-3

The Pittsburgh Pirates kicked off their final home stand of the 2017 season tonight in the first of three against the St. Louis Cardinals.  The Bucs have a chance to play spoiler this weekend as the Cardinals are battling for a playoff spot here late in the season.  Unfortunately, after putting themselves in position to take the first game tonight, the Pirates fell apart late and lost 4-3.

Michael Wacha and Ivan Nova opposed each other on the mound tonight, and neither had an outstanding start, each lasting five innings.  Wacha gave up two runs on three hits, while Nova gave up two runs (one earned) on six hits.

The Cardinals scored the game’s first run on a single by Dexter Fowler, bringing Matt Carpenter home to make it a 1-0 advantage.  A throwing error by Nova in the second allowed Paul DeJong to score, and St. Louis held a 2-0 lead early.

Pittsburgh battled back to tie the game in the bottom of the fourth inning.  David Freese doubled home Starling Marte, and Gregory Polanco reached on a fielder’s choice, allowing Josh Bell to score to tie the game.

A throwing error by DeJong on a ground ball hit by John Jaso allowed Max Moroff to score, and the Pirates held a 3-2 lead after seven innings. But the ninth inning shocked us all.

Felipe Rivero came in looking for the save, but instead allowed two runs to score, and the Cardinals came away with a victory.  A RBI single by Jedd Gyorko scored the tying run, and Jordy Mercer’s fielding error on a Fowler ground ball scored the game-deciding run.

The Pirates went down in order against Juan Nicasio to close out the game.  I won’t go as far as to way this was a heartbreaker, as the Bucs aren’t really playing for anything significant.  But this is another example of why the Pirates are not a good, consistent baseball team.  St. Louis has everything to play for, and they showed it tonight with a late game rally to steal a victory.  As for the Pirates, this season can’t end soon enough.

The Pirates and Cardinals will meet back up at PNC Park for the second game of this weekend series tomorrow night.

 

Record vs. Cardinals: 6-11

Record vs. N.L. Central: 31-43

Record at Home: 40-37

Overall Record: 69-85

 

And…

As Always…

Let’s Go Bucs!

Chad Carlson

Co-Editor of Fans From The Stands, Pirates' Beat Writer For Armchair Report, Sports writer for AMN, SteelTownRock And Music City Encore Editor