The Pirates lost a heart breaker today that came way by a Matt Carpenter walk off home run. The shot came off of A.J. Schugel with two outs and a base runner on. This puts the series record at 4-1 and the Pirates overall record at 16-14.
Both teams came out on fire today scoring two runs each in the 1st inning. It was started by the Pirates who lead off the game with four straight hits. John Jaso would be the first to score off of a Gregory Polanco single, and then Jung Ho Kang would sacrifice in Polanco.
The Cardinals would match the damage with a Randal Grichuk single that scored Matt Carpenter and Stephen Piscotty. This came after Jeff Locke loaded the bases by allowing a double and two walks to the very first three batters.
The tale of the game would change quickly. With what once started to look like a hit party, both pitchers settled in and began to dominate the batters. Adam Wainwright retired 14 straight batters after the 1st inning. Jeff Locke, though he allowed a Stephen Piscotty home run in the 3rd, retired 12 straight batters after the homer.
Jeff Locke finished this game pithing 6 innings, allowing three earned runs on four hits and two walks. He was only able to strike out one, but continued his streak of quality starts to three. As mentioned in the preview, Adam Wainwright has not been pitching well this year. Today, Wainwright essentially matched Locke inning for inning and allowed one more baserunner while pitching 1/3 of an extra inning. For many of the fans crying for the removal of Jeff Locke, as the Pirates #5 starter he has been more effective this season than what the Red Birds Ace has been.
With the score still 3-2, John Jaso effectively scored Matt Joyce on an RBI single to right. The game would continue to be tied until the bottom of the 8th. Jared Hughes entered the game and did not look to be sharp. Hughes gave up a double to Piscotty, and then gave up a Randal Grichuk single that scored Piscotty. The next two batters would end up being walked, but Hughes would induce an inning ending fly to right by Jedd Gyrko to limit the damage.
With the lead, the Cardinals sent in their closer, Trevor Rosenthal, to close out the game. Rosenthal would allow the first two batters to reach, which drew quite the attention from Cardinals Nation on Twitter. With Andrew McCutchen and Gregory Polanco drawing outs, the game was in the hands of Starling Marte. Marte stayed patient and brought the count to 3-2 before stepping out of the box to remove his left elbow guard. It was at this moment that Marte drove a ball deep into left center for a ground rule double. He was able to score in David Freese, but unfortunately because of it bouncing over the fence, Polanco was forced to stay at third. Cervelli would come to the plate and end the inning of a hit that bounced approximately .13 millimeters in front of the plate that had even Chris Stewart thinking “what was that?”
A.J. Schugel entered the the bottom of the 9th to preserve the tie for extra innings. He immediately allowed a hit to Aldemys Diaz and then – Ball Game! Matt Carpenter drove a pitch well over Gregory Polanco for the game ending home run.
The hits were alive in this game, even with Wainwrights 14 out streak. John Jaso, Starling Marte, Francisco Cervelli, and Josh Harrison each collected two hits this game. The team overall had 11 hits and also drew two walks. The Pirates were able to regain their league lead in hits momentarily, and Starling Marte has the third most hits in the NL with 39.
Tomorrow the Pirates will play the Cardinals at 2:15 once again for their rubber match. Gerrit Cole will face Michael Wacha. You can expect Jung Ho Kang to take the day off, which means David Freese will make his first start for the Pirates in his return to Busch Stadium.