The Pittsburgh Pirates’ struggles against the National League Central division continued on Friday night, as they dropped their weekend series opener to the St. Louis Cardinals by a 5-3 score at PNC Park.
The Bucs are now just 9-17 against their own division, and have lost three of the four games against St. Louis so far this season.
Adam Wainwright has been a nemesis for the Pirates over the years, and Friday night was no different. He earned his fifth victory of the season (5-3), giving up one run on four hits with three walks and three strikeouts in seven innings on the mound. Zach Thompson suffered the loss for Pittsburgh (2-4), giving up one run on five hits in five innings. The bullpen was the culprit on Friday for the Bucs, as Heath Hembree and Anthony Banda combined to record just two outs in the sixth inning while giving up a total of four runs on four hits and two walks.
The Cardinals scored a run in the very first inning to take the lead. Nolan Arenado flew out to right field, and Paul Goldschmidt was thrown out at second. But the throw to second allowed Tommy Edman to score and put the first run on the board.
The game remained 1-0 until the sixth inning, when the Cardinals put four more runs up to distance themselves from the Bucs, which would end up being the difference in the game. A single by Dylan Carlson scored Arenado to make it 2-0, which was followed by a two run single by Yadier Molina and another run scoring single by Harrison Bader. St. Louis held a commanding 5-0 lead after six innings.
Pittsburgh did battle back to make the game interesting in the late innings. A solo homerun by Michael Chavis in the seventh made it 5-1, and then a single by Bryan Reynolds and a groundout by Yoshi Tsutsugo scored Ben Gamel to make it 5-3. Unfortunately for the Bucs, though, that was a close as they would get.
The Pirates fell behind and couldn’t complete a comeback on this night. Wainwright has always had a tremendous record against them and that continued on Friday. The Bucs will look to even things up in this series when the take the field on Saturday evening. Jose Quintana will look to continue his impressive start to the 2022 when he takes the mound against Matthew Liberatore for the Cardinals.
Record vs. Cardinals: 1-3
Record vs. N.L. Central: 9-17
Record at Home: 9-11
Overall Record: 16-22
Let’s Go Bucs!