Fran got HBP and Ishy blooped a single that got lost in the sun. An out later, Frankie singled in a run, and so did El Coffee, thanks to Yadier Molina dropping the peg home on a play that wouldn't have been close. That was it; Tyler Lyons took the hill, and Neil greeted him with another run scoring knock before it ended, with the Bucs up 7-0.
Frankie didn't start off much better, walking the leadoff guy on four pitchers, then giving up a single before getting a line out. A walk loaded them, followed by a two-run knock by Molina. The Cards got happy feet, tho, and Cutch gunned out Jason Heyward at third. Another grounder, and it was 7-2 after a pretty busy opening frame.
The second went quietly; the Redbirds left two runners aboard in the third after a calm Pirate half, with Francisco walking another hitter. The fourth was an easy frame. It was the Bucs turn to strand a couple in the fifth as the Cards went down without a peep. Pittsburgh went down in the sixth and made a couple of defensive switches - Pedro Florimon entered the game at short, JHK moved to third and S-Rod to left.
Back-to-singles followed by a walk put the Redbirds back in business. After a chat with Ray Searage, a force out brought in a run and a short fly froze the runner at third. Frankie got away with hanging a two strike slider that was fouled off, and a stolen base then put Redbirds at second and third. But a foul pop to first ended the music with no added damage; Clint rolled the dice keeping Liriano in and came up seven.
|Pedro had three hits including a bomb tonight (photo Dave Arrigo/Pirates)|
Jonathan Broxton was handed the horsehide for the eighth and sat the Bucs down on just seven pitches. Watson fell behind the last two hitters 3-1 and 3-0, but recovered to toss a clean frame. Seth Maness took his turn on the mound in the ninth, and Morse welcomed him with a single; Starling came in to run for him. Gregory drew a 3-2 walk.
The Kid cranked a changeup at the knees, doubling home a run off the RF wall, followed by an intentional walk to Cutch to load 'em up. It worked, sorta, as JHK banged into a 5-3 DP while another run scored. A-Ram grabbed a bat and singled to make it 10-5, followed by a ground rule double by Fran. Florimon flew out, but the Bucs finally added on.
Mark the Shark came in, even tho no save was involved; it could be no one else was warmed up, or maybe Clint just wants his security blanket against the top of the Card order. S-Rod went to first; Starling stayed in at left. It was a no drama, nine pitch frame, and the Bucs took one they had to have, tho it was more of a struggle than the score indicates.
Today, the Crads played an inning like sandlotters, and that first frame propelled Pittsburgh to a badly needed win (the Cubs also won again). It doesn't get easier; the red-hot Mets are next on the road trip, with JA Happ facing Bartolo Colon.
- Pedro and The Kid each had three hits, two RBI and a run scored tonight.
- The Pirates seven first inning runs are the most opening runs they've scored in St. Louis since June 13th, 1943. They won that game 10-3. Oddly, they allowed the Cards to get two back in the bottom of the first then, too, per @AceballStats.
- It's also the first time the Bucs scored at least seven runs on road in the first inning since June 8th, 1989 at Philly (10 runs). They lost that one; it's the infamous "I'll walk home" game called by Jim Rooker (s/o to @BeirtempfelTrib).
- @EliasSports: Neil Walker is first Pirate player since expansion in 1962 to collect a hit from both sides of the plate in the same inning.
- It was a matter of when...A-Ram is going to get a crash course in 1B. He's never played an inning of his career (and he's played 17,727 frames in his 18 years) anywhere but at third, but said he's willing to give it a try.