Ke’Bryan Hayes had four RBIs and the Pittsburgh Pirates scored six runs in the seventh inning to overcome an early five-run deficit, beating the St. Louis Cardinals by a 7-5 score at PNC Park on Friday night.
After falling behind early to a Cardinals team that has been playing well lately after a dreadful start to the season, the Bucs’ bats came alive in the latter part of the game to lead the team to a much-needed victory in first game of what feels like a crucial home stand.
Roansy Contreras started for Pittsburgh tonight, and simply did not have his best stuff on the mound. He lasted four innings, giving up five runs on seven hits, although he did strike out six batters. Yohan Ramirez earned the victory, while David Bednar secured his 11th save of the season by pitching a scoreless ninth inning.
The Cardinals took control of the game in the third inning by putting a five-spot up on Contreras and the Bucs. A two-run homerun by Brendan Donovan got the scoring started, which was followed by a RBI single by Nolan Gorman. Nolan Arenado followed later in the inning with a two run homerun, his 10th of the season, to right center field, making it a 5-0 score.
Hayes got the Bucs on the board in the sixth inning on a single to center field, scoring Jack Suwinski to make it a 5-1 game. After stranding a couple runners on base to end the inning, it still seemed to be a tall task for this team to come back against their N.L. Central rivals.
But that is exactly what they did in the next inning. Carlos Santana belted a ground-rule double to left field, scoring Tucupita Marcano and Andrew McCutchen to cut the Cardinals’ lead to 5-3. Then Hayes stepped to the plate and hit the first pitch he saw over the left center field wall, scoring three runs to make it 6-5. Josh Palacios followed that up by hitting his first Major League homerun, providing an insurance run that, as it turned out, the Bucs wouldn’t need.
This was a huge victory for the Pirates. Yes, it is early June and this is just one game. But after concluding their recent road trip by winning the final two games against the San Francisco Giants, it felt as if this team may have something going again. Then to fall behind early like they did on Friday against the Cardinals, they showed some resilience to get back into the game and come away with the victory.
With the win, the Bucs are two games over the .500 mark and are keeping pace with the Milwaukee Brewers in the N.L. Central. They will look for their fourth straight victory when they take the field on Saturday afternoon in the second game of this weekend series at PNC Park. Luis Ortiz will be on the mound for Pittsburgh against Jordan Montgomery for St. Louis.
Record vs. Cardinals: 3-2
Record vs. N.L. Central: 8-4
Record at Home: 13-13
Overall Record: 29-27
Let’s Go Bucs!