The Bucs managed a Russ Martin walk in the second; that was one more runner than St. Louis could scare up.Pittsburgh wasted Clint Barmes leadoff single in the third, and the Redbirds went down quietly again.
With an out in the fourth, Pedro legged out an infield knock, but Martin erased him on an around-the-horn DP. The Cards opened shop in their half with a leadoff double by Matt Carpenter. An out later, Matt Holliday walked, and a bouncer put Cardinals at second and third, but AJ got by Yadier Molina with a grounder to escape the jam.
The Bucs finally caused a stir in the fifth. Garrett Jones singled and came around on Andrew Lambo's first MLB hit (and RBI) a double to center. He trotted home soon afterward ahead of Clint Barmes home run to left. An out later, Marte tripled and The Kid brought him home on a sac fly to make it 4-0. But the Cards answered.
Mike Adams singled and David Freese doubled on an 0-2 pitch, not particularly well played by Lambo, who took a bad route to the ball, maybe unfamiliar with the wall. Daniel Descalso lined a single to center, and it was quickly 4-2. It got worse. With an out, Carpenter tripled, Jon Jay singled and Holliday doubled on a ball that Cutch dove for and came up empty. That made it 5-4 Cards and Vin Mazzaro came on to finish out the frame from AJ, who for the second straight game was handed a big lead that he couldn't hold.
With an out in the sixth, Martin singled and Mike Mathey brought in LHP Sam Freeman. Pinch hitter Gaby lined out, but JT, batting for Lambo, doubled to left to put Bucs at second and third; Martin had a chance to come in but Nick Leyve had him hit the brakes. Seth Maness was handed the ball and he whiffed Barmes. With two down, Mazzaro walked the eight hitter and gave up a single to Maness. It didn't bite him as Carpenter lined out to left.
Josh Harrison led of the seventh with a double; Hurdle threw away an at-bat by having Marte bunt him to third. We know the drill: Walker smacks one to first, Harrison was off on contact and tossed out at home. The Cards walked Cutch intentionally (Walker went to second on the Harrison out) and brought in Randy Choate to face Pedro, and the LOOGY fanned him. Justin Wilson came on and worked a 1-2-3 frame.
Martin tied the game in the eighth, leading off with a homer off Trevor Rosenthal. A one out double by JT added a little drama, but he died on the basepaths. Tony Watson threw a clean frame for Pittsburgh. In the ninth, the Bucs were retired quietly, and Holliday's two-out single didn't cause any damage; it was on to extras.
Edward Mujica came on in the tenth; he and Watson worked routine innings. JT started off the 11th with a knock and was bunted to second; Tony Sanchez walked and both runners stayed glued to the sacks. Bryan Morris worked a 1-2-3 frame.
Kevin Siegrist put away the Bucs quietly in the 12th. With an out, Morris lost Carpenter on a 3-2 pitch. With Gaby holding him and The Kid cheating toward second, Jay stroked a routine grounder into right to put Cards on the corners. Morris got ahead of Holliday 1-2, ran the count full, and gave him a fastball that he dropped into center to walk off with the win.
It was another bad RISP day for the Bucs, who were 1-for-10. But that didn't lose the game. Five runs should be plenty, but AJ didn't have it again today; the last two outings, he's hit a mid-game wall where everything stays up. Harrison being cut down at home hurt, giving up an at-bat for a bunt, then having another Bucco poke an infield-in grounder right at someone.
The frustration is that the Pirates were that close to sweeping the Cards, blowing 3-0 and 4-0 leads in their two extra inning losses. But c' est la vie, it's back home tomorrow for a three game set against Arizona. Gerrit Cole and Brandon McCarthy will do the opening honors.
- Starling Marte became the first Pirate since Jack Wilson in 2004 to have at least 10 doubles, 10 triples and 10 HR in a season.