It was a rough start. Back-to-back singles put runners on the corners, but Dewey relived some of the pressure by throwing out Jon Jay trying to steal second. Sir Albert followed with a sac fly, and it was 1-0.
But not for long. Alex Presley singled to open the frame and Neil Walker followed with a double off of Pujol's mitt. With runners on second and third, McCutch lifted a fly to right to score the King and move The Pittsburgh Kid up a sack to third. Derrek Lee followed with another fly, and the Bucs were up 2-1.
The second went quietly, but the Redbirds were back at it in the third. Three straight singles brought in a run, and a groundout and intentional walk loaded them for Matt Holliday, who obliged by banging into a DP. The game moved along until the bottom of the fifth, when a Presley single and Walker double off the Clemente Wall on a hit-and-run put the Bucs back on top 3-2.
In the sixth, the edge returned to St. Louis when Pujols ripped his 35th homer into right center with Jay aboard to give the Cards a 4-3 lead. Brad Lincoln went 5-1/3 innings, giving up four runs on eight hits with two walks and a K, and Chris Leroux took over to close the frame.
Leroux ran into a jam in the seventh, putting runners on second and third with two away. Tony Watson came on and got the third out. Jason Grilli pitched a clean eighth, shutting down the heart of the Redbird order and giving the Pirates a chance to pull it out.
And pull it out they did. With an out, Lee walked and was replaced at first by Chase d'Arnaud. Octavio Dotel left and Mark Rezpczyniski took the ball. Dewey turned around and caught a sinker that dropped right down the middle, drilling it into right for a double to tie the game. Xavier Paul came in to run for him; don't you love September and its endless roster?
After an intentional walk to pinch hitter Ryan Ludwick, Josh Harrison came to the plate for Pedro. He went down swinging without seeing a strike. Jason Jaramillo pinch hit for Grilli and walked to load the sacks. That brought Fernando Salas to the hill to face Pedro Ciriaco. El Nino fell behind 0-2, took a waste pitch, and then slapped a hung slider inside the right field chalk to double home a pair. After eight, it was 6-4 Bucs and Hanny time.
Two singles around a ground out brought in a run for St. Louis. A walk and another ground out put runners at second and third with two away. Hanrahan ran the count to 2-2 on pinch hitter Corey Patterson and put him away swinging at a slider in the dirt to preserve a 6-5 Bucco win.
Hey, they can win when the pitching's not there. They played a little D - Dewey threw out two runners and d"Arnaud made a sweet stop in the ninth - while Walker had three hits and Dewey, Jones and Presley added a pair apiece. It's only September baseball in Pittsburgh, but still a nice victory against a team that's trying hard to stay in the hunt.
Chris Carpenter goes against Jeff Karstens tomorrow.
- The book on Pedro Ciriaco is that he can't hit, and he does have only a tiny sample of at-bats in the show. But we hope he gets a look this month; his glove is unquestioned and he's hitting .316 in a handful of at-bats. Chase d'Arnaud has a .200 average so far, and Pedro has 6 RBI to his 3 with 100 less chances at the dish.
- Tonight's attendance was 13,278.
- Jen Langosch of MLB.com reports that the Bucs are bailing out of the Venezuelan league and transferring their players to the Dominican league. The Domincan is home to the newish Pirate academy and is reputed to play a higher caliber of ball, so it makes sense.