Pittsburgh Pirates Come Up Short Vs. St. Louis Cardinals


The Pittsburgh Pirates had their five-game winning streak stopped Thursday as they lost 4-1 to the St. Louis Cardinals at PNC Park. The Bucs are 2-5 against the Redbirds, and 14-21 against the entire National League Central Division this season.

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The loss dropped the Pirates record to 50-35, but they remain in second place in the N.L. Central. The crew of the Jolly Roger is 5.5 games behind the first place Cardinals (56-30). Just two teams have 50 or more wins in the National League, and they are Pittsburgh and St. Louis.

St. Louis starter Carlos Martinez (10-3) was firing on all cylinders as he struck out eight and walked just two over his seven 2/3 innings of work. In fact, at the end of seven the 23-year-old Martinez had retired 11 straight Pittsburgh batters. The 6-foot, 185-pound right-hander hurled 68 of his 108 pitches across the plate for strikes in taking on 27 Pirates.

The Cardinals got to Pirates’ starter Jeff Locke in the top of the fifth. Matt Carpenter got his team on the scoreboard when his line drive single to right drove in Randal Grichuk and Xavier Scruggs. Yadler Molina added two insurance runs as his line drive single to center brought Peter Bourjos and Matt Carpenter home.

Locke was done for the evening after the fifth frame. The 27-year-old left-hander saw his record drop to .500 as he picked up his fifth loss against five victories. He is 2-3 against St. Louis in seven career starts. The 6-foot, 185-pound southpaw gave up four runs, one of which was earned, on five hits. Locke ended up striking out five and walking three.

Pittsburgh Pirates
Pittsburgh Pirates /

Pittsburgh Pirates

“In that fifth inning, I didn’t execute my pitches,’ Locke said to John Perrotto of the AP on Yahoo Sports. “This is a good team we’re playing. You have to be able to execute if you’re going to beat them.”

Andrew McCutchen, who went 1-for-4, prevented the shutout with his 11th home run this season in the bottom of the ninth. The All-Star center fielder ripped a 443-foot blast to deep center off Cardinals’ reliever Seth Maness.

With the home run against the Cards, McCutchen has hit safely in a career-high 16 consecutive contests. It is the second-longest current streak in the Majors behind Colorado’s Troy Tulowitzki, who has a hit in 21 games. Neil Walker continues to swing the bat well as he has a hit in 12 of his last 13 games.

Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle did say to Tom Singer and John McGonigal on MLB.com about having Gerrit Cole, A.J. Burnett and Francisco Liriano lined up for the next three games of this series, “Gosh … I feel great. The beauty of it is, Pirates love tomorrow.”


Up Next: The Cardinals and Pirates get together again Friday for the second contest in their four-game series at PNC Park. The Redbirds will hand the ball to 28-year-old Lance Lynn (6-4, 2.53 ERA/1.23 WHIP). The right-hander has thrown 97 strikeouts over 92.1 innings pitched.

The Pirates will turn to 24-year-old Gerrit Cole (12-3, 2.28 ERA/1.11 WHIP). The All-Star right-hander has put up 113 strikeouts over 110.1 innings pitched. The first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. and you can check out all the action on ROOT Sports Pittsburgh.

From The Clipboard: The game lasted 2:52 (36 minute rain delay), and there were 35,183 in attendance at PNC Park…The Bucs were 44-41 after 85 games last season…When the Pirates starting pitcher goes less six innings, the team is 9-14…Vance Worley has pitched multiple innings in 10 of his last 18 outings…Jared Hughes has made 12 consecutive scoreless appearances, and has been scored upon once in his last 16 games.

Next: Pirates: Five All-Star Game Fun Facts

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