With the calendar turned to September, many have their focus turned to football. However, the Pittsburgh Pirates are playing some of their best baseball of the year amid a four-game winning streak. That streak would extend to five after a 7-6 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday night from Busch Stadium.
St. Louis took control of the game early on when Tyler O’Neill hit a three-run home run to left center. Pittsburgh began to chip away at that lead in the fourth when Connor Joe hit an RBI triple to left. A Bryan Reynolds RBI single to left center and Andrew McCutchen RBI single to center would tie the game at three in the fifth. That would be until Lars Nootbar hit a solo homer in the bottom of the inning.
The Pirates would take the lead with two runs in the sixth. The first occurred when Miguel Andujar doubled home Endy Rodriguez. The second when Ji Hwan Bae brought in Andujar with a single to right center. A Jordan Walker two run homer to center would put the Cardinals back in the lead in the seventh. Joshua Palacios gave Pittsburgh the lead for good with a two-run homer to right center in the ninth.
Six pitchers were used tonight by the Pirates as they continue to use openers to finish off the season. Thomas Hatch started the game and allowed three runs on three hits with a strikeout over 2.1 innings. Bailey Falter, Colin Shelby, Ryan Borucki, and Cody Bolton covered the next 5.2 innings, giving up three runs on four hits with four strikeouts and one walk. David Bednar earned his 31st save after stranding runners at second and third to end the game.
St. Louis would bring seven pitchers to the mound with differing results. Drew Rom, Jacob Barnes, and Drew VerHagen would be responsible for the Pittsburgh runs, with VerHagan being charged with the loss. These two teams will meet one final time in 2023 on Sunday afternoon with Johan Oviedo starting for the Pirates, while the Cardinals will counter with Zack Thompson.
Record vs. Cardinals: 9-3
Record vs. N.L. Central: 19-23
Record on the Road: 31-37
Overall Record: 63-73
Let’s Go Bucs!