The Bucs had an answer. JT and Neil Walker started with singles off Michael Wacha. A Pedro walk sandwiched around K's to Cutch and Starling Marte loaded the sacks with two down, and Ike came through, ripping a ground rule double to right; the Pirates lost a run when it hopped into the seats, but will gladly take the 2-0 lead.
The second went quietly, with only Jordy Mercer's single to show for either club. Ditto for the third; Cutch led off with a single after the Cards went down, but a Pedro DP cleaned up. In the fourth, well, not so hot for Frankie.
He gave up leadoff knocks to Jhonny Peralta and Matt Holliday, but two outs later seemed in good shape. The rain began to fall, and Liriano hung a slider to Allen Craig, who dumped it in the seats to give the Redbirds a 3-2 edge. Peter Bourjos then tripled, followed by an intention walk and stolen base before the fires were dampened. The rain briefly stopped for Wacha, but came down after just a pause, delaying the game 25 minutes. The break didn't help Pittsburgh; they went down in order.
Back-to-back walks with one away in the fifth put Francisco in hot water again, but he worked out of it. It was his last frame after 96 pitches. The Bucs battled back; JT doubled (around ground rule shot that cost the Bucs a base) but The Kid singled him in to make it a moot point, going to second on the throw home. He stayed there as Wacha came back strong to whiff Cutch and Pedro.
Jeanmar Gomez took the ball in the sixth. With two outs, he gave up a ground rule double to Mark Ellis - are they using superballs tonight? - and Jon Jay grabbed a stick for Wacha. Jay lined one the opposite way, but Marte was there for the grab. Pat Neshek climbed the hill for St. Louis, and pitched a clean inning, surviving a just-short Davis shot to the wall in center.
Peralta's didn't have that problem; his solo shot in the seventh cleared the fence to give the Cards a 4-3 lead. With two down, Justin Wilson got the call to close the frame and K'ed Holliday. Carlos Martinez took the ball with the lead; Jordy and Gaby greeted him with singles and were bunted up by JT. He reached back against The Kid, hitting 100 on the gun. Then Martinez got cute and left a pair of curves upstairs; the first was fouled off and the second was airmailed over the RF fence to make it 6-4 after seven.
Tony Watson was beckoned, and Craig singled with one out in the eighth, but never reached second. Eric Fornataro had runners on second and third with two down thanks to an Ike knock and Jordy double, but Josh Harrison flew out to leave those ducks on the pond.
Mark the Shark looked for the close. Daniel started the ninth with an opposite field double. Two outs later, Bucco-killer Holliday was up. Melancon feed him five straight cutters, all just off the black, and got him to bounce out to Walker to save the Bucco win for Wilson.
Earl Weaver coached for the three run homer; tonight the Bucs got one and rode it victory. As for Frankie, well, he was going good until the rain; perhaps the wet ball and then the delay got him off his game. Then again...
Lance Lynn goes against Edinson Volquez tomorrow night.
- Tonight's victory gave the Pirates their first three-game winning streak of the season; they're now 5-of-7.
- Travis Snider was suspended for tonight and tomorrow as his appeal fell on deaf ears. Ditto for Russ Martin; he'll serve his one game when he's cleared from the DL.
- The Pirates-Cardinals game this Sunday will be the ESPN Sunday Night Baseball game and is scheduled to start at 8:07 PM. The Pirates-Dodgers game in Los Angeles on June 1st has also been selected by ESPN. The last time the Bucs were the featured Sunday Night game on ESPN from Pittsburgh was 7/28/96.