The Pittsburgh Pirates entered Sunday afternoon’s matchup against the St. Louis Cardinals with an opportunity to win the four-game series at Busch Stadium. As there are less divisional games this season, this was a huge opportunity for the Bucs. Unfortunately, they couldn’t come away with the victory, as the Cardinals walked off in 10 innings to salvage a series split.
Mitch Keller started for Pittsburgh, giving up three runs on seven hits with two walks and three strikeouts in six innings on the mound. Wil Crowe was tagged with the blown save and the loss, giving up two runs (one earned) while recording two outs in the 10th inning.
Miles Mikolas was on the bump for St. Louis, giving up three runs (two earned) on seven hits with four strikeouts and two walks in 5.2 innings. Drew VerHagen earned the victory despite giving up an unearned run in the 10th inning.
The teams traded runs in the first inning. Bryan Reynolds’ sacrifice fly in the top of the first inning gave the Bucs the early lead, but Willson Contreras’s single scored Paul Goldschmidt to tie the game.
Pittsburgh responded in the top of the second when Austin Hedges singled home Jack Suwinski to make it 2-1. After the Bucs scored another run in the top of the sixth inning on a field error, St. Louis tied the game in the bottom half of the frame on a two-run homerun by Lars Nootbaar.
The game remained tied until the top of the 10th, when a groundout by Canaan Smith-Njigba scored Andrew McCutchen to give the Pirates a 4-3 lead. Unfortunately, that would not be enough.
The Cardinals scored a pair of runs to win the game in the bottom of the 10th inning. A ground-rule double by Nolan Gorman scored Goldschmidt to tie the game, and a single by Tommy Edman scored Tyler O’Neill to walk it off.
This was a difficult loss for the Pirates, mainly because they held the lead multiple times throughout the game, including the 10th inning. They just weren’t able to hold the lead throughout, and it ended up costing them in the end. While a series split against a divisional opponent on the road is not a bad thing, it could have been a much better weekend if they had taken three out of four games.
The Bucs will continue their road trip this week against the Colorado Rockies, beginning Monday evening.
Record vs. Cardinals: 2-2
Record vs. N.L. Central: 3-4
Record on the Road: 6-4
Overall Record: 9-7
Let’s Go Bucs!