Cardinals Rout Pirates 9-1, Clinch Series Victory At PNC Park

By Chad Carlson
Photo Credit: AP
For the second straight game, the Pirates entered play against the St. Louis Cardinals with the top of the N.L. Central on the line, and, for the second straight night, they were outslugged and outplayed by their opponent.  The Cardinals lit up the scoreboard, and Kevin Correia, on their way to a 9-1 rout of the Buccos tonight at PNC Park.
Correia lasted just 4.2 innings, giving up seven runs on eight hits, while walking three and giving up two homeruns, losing for the eighth time this season.  His ERA has ballooned to 4.38 for the year.
Jaime Garcia, on the other hand, pitched a strong game for St. Louis, surrendering just once run on eight hits through 7.1 innings, lowering his ERA to 3.01 on his way to his 10th victory of the season.
The Cardinals took the lead early again tonight, tallying two runs in the second inning off RBI singles by Yadier Molina and Daniel Descalso.  After the Buccos cut the lead in half in the bottom half of the inning, St. Louis blew the game wide open in the fifth frame.
Albert Pujols smacked an RBI single to right center, scoring Skip Schumaker from third base.  Two batters later, Lance Berkman hammered a three-run homerun to deep center field, his 27th on the year.  Molina added a solo homerun to make the score 7-1 after five innings.  The Cardinals added two more in the ninth to end the scoring. 
The Pirates’ offense continued to struggle tonight.  Chase d’Arnaud and Matt Diaz each had two hits, while Brandon Wood recorded the only RBI for the Bucs.  Still, the offense couldn’t muster together multiple hits at a time, and ended up leaving five men on base.  Neil Walker and Andrew McCutchen were a combined 1-7 on the night, while Garrett Jones, Lyle Overbay, and Alex Presley all had the night off.  Where were we expecting the offense to come from?
This was arguably the worst performance by the Pirates this season.  Kevin Correia didn’t pitch well at all and the offense couldn’t score runs.  Walker and McCutchen, the two leaders of the club, didn’t do anything at the plate, and when the Pirates were able to put runners on base, they weren’t able to bring them home.
The game tonight was reminiscent of a game from last year or previous years.  So far this season, the Pirates have played to the level of their competition, meaning they play worse against the bad teams and good against the good teams.  Unfortunately, this weekend, they have looked like a far inferior team when compared to the Cardinals.  If they are going to stand any chance of competing in this division alongside the Cards as well as the Milwaukee Brewers, the Pirates are going to need to find a way to score runs. 
Pittsburgh will try to avoid the sweep tomorrow afternoon at PNC Park.  Charlie Morton will make the start for the Pirates against the Cardinals’ Kyle Lohse.  First pitch is scheduled for 1:35pm.
Record Vs. Cardinals: 2-3
Record Vs. N.L. Central: 24-16
Record At Home: 25-25
Overall Record: 51-47
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

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