The Pittsburgh Pirates (14-16) made baseball history Saturday with the first ever 4-5-4 Triple Play as they defeated the St. Louis Cardinals 7-5 at PNC Park.
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Second baseman Neil Walker and third baseman Jung Ho Kang wrote themselves into the record books in the top of the second. With the Cards Jhonny Peralta on third and Jason Heyward on second, Yadler Molina sent a line drive off Bucs starter Vance Worley that looked like it was going to go over the head of Walker.
Walker was able to go up and haul in the liner and his throw to Kang doubled up Peralta. Heyward tried to scramble back to second, but Kang fired the ball back to Walker that tripled up Heyward for the final out. It went on the scorecard 4-5-4, the first ever in Major League Baseball.
The Pirates took the lead back for good with three runs in the home half of the sixth. Jordy Mercer doubled on a fly ball deep to center off Cards starter Carlos Martinez that drove in Sean Rodriguez and Pedro Alvarez. Corey Hart flied into a sacrifice double play to center that scored Francisco Cervelli. Mercer was out at third on the throw.
Pittsburgh had taken an early lead with three runs in the bottom of the second. A wild pitch by Martinez to Mercer allowed Alvarez to score. Mercer grounded out to second that pushed Kang across the plate. Gregory Polanco collected his 10th double on a line drive to right that brought home Worley.
The Bucs added a run in the fifth when with two out Walker claimed his second home run on a fly ball to right.
Worley allowed nine hits and surrendered five earned runs over five innings. He did not strike out a batter and walked two. The 6-foot-2, 250-pound righthander deliverered 54 of his 83 pitches for strikes.
The Cards erupted for five runs in the fourth. Peralta singled on a line drive to left that scored Kolten Wong. Heyward ripped his seventh double of the season on a line drive to right that brought home Matt Adams.
Yadler Molina kept the hit parade going as he picked up his seventh double on a line drive to right that scored Peralta and Heyward. Jon Jay finished the assault on the scoreboard with a sacrifice fly to center that drove in Molina.
Martinez (3-1) was charged with all seven earned runs over five 1/3 innings for the Cards. He struck out seven and walked four in his first loss. The 6-foot, 185-pound righthander hurled 57 of his 89 pitches for strikes.
The Bucs bullpen took care of business the rest of the way. Rob Scahill did not give up a hit in the sixth. Jared Hughes gave up a hit in the seventh, but kept the Cards in check. Tony Watson did not permit a hit in the eighth. Mark Melancon retired the side in the ninth as he fired eight of his 10 pitches for strikes in picking up his sixth save.
Up Next: The Pirates and Cardinals wrap up their three-game set Sunday. The first pitch is set for 1:35 p.m. St. Louis (22-8) will go with lefthander Tyler Lyons (0-0, 6.23 ERA) while the Bucs will send Jeff Locke (2-2, 4.85 ERA) to the mound.
The 27-year-old will be making his sixth start of the season. His last start was a 7-2 loss to the Cincinnati Reds Tuesday at PNC Park. The 6-foot, 195-pound lefthander is 2-2 with a 3.76 ERA in five career starts against the Cards. The game will be on ROOT Sports Pittsburgh.
From The Clipboard: The time of the game was 2:34 and 38,068 were in attendance at PNC Park…Walker has been hit by a pitch a team-leading four times this season. He has been plunked 39 times in his career…Righthander Charlie Morton, who is on the disabled list, made a rehab start Friday with the Double-A Altoona Curve. He permitted just two hits while striking out five and walking two over 7.0 scoreless innings. Altoona won 10-4 against Harrisburg.