The Pittsburgh Pirates got a strong start from Johan Oviedo, but the offense was non-existent on Friday night, as the St. Louis Cardinals earned a 3-0 victory at Busch Stadium.
Oviedo was solid for Pittsburgh tonight, giving up one run on six hits with 10 strikeouts and one walk in seven innings. Unfortunately, that wasn’t enough as the Pirates’ offense couldn’t push a single run across the plate. Duane Underwood Jr. only tallied one out while giving up two runs on three hits, allowing some Cardinals’ insurance runs.
Jake Woodford started for St. Louis, giving up seven hits and one walk in 5.1 innings. Zack Thompson tallied the victory by finishing up the sixth and seventh innings in relief.
For Pittsburgh, the story was runners left on base. As a team, they stranded 14 runners, including multiple innings with more than one runner on and less than two outs. In particular, the second inning was a missed opportunity, as the Bucs loaded the bases with only one out. They just could not find a way to score a run.
The Cardinals broke a scoreless tie in the sixth inning on a RBI single by Nolan Gorman, scoring Nolan Arenado. The insurance runs came in the bottom of the eighth. A single by Willson Contreras scored Jordan Walker to make it 2-0, and another run-scoring single by Gorman once again scored Arenado to the game’s third run. As it turned out, St. Louis wouldn’t need the extra two runs as their pitching staff held the Bucs’ bats in check throughout the night.
This was a frustrating follow-up to Thursday’s convincing 5-0 victory. Oviedo pitched a great time, so we should all feel good about that. The offensive inconsistencies should bring concern, though, so hopefully they will be able to right the ship as they still have an opportunity to seize this early-season divisional series on the road.
The Pirates will look to rebound from Friday night’s loss when they take the field in the third game of this series on Saturday afternoon. Roansy Contreras will take the mound for the Bucs against Steven Matz for St. Louis.
Record vs. Cardinals: 1-1
Record vs. N.L. Central: 2-3
Record on the Road: 5-3
Overall Record: 8-6
Let’s Go Bucs!