Gregory opened the third with a triple; two outs later, he was still there, but A-Ram banged a clutch single to left to put the Bucs up 2-1. Two singles and a walk loaded the sacks with an out for St. Louis, but Locke got a whiff and grounder to escape. The fourth saw Pedro lose a ball over the center field fence to make it 3-1, and the Cards stranded a lead off double; Locke has been dodging quite a few early bullets.
The Pirates opened the fifth with back-to-back singles, but a Cutch 6-4-3 DP and A-Ram liner squelched that frame. The Cards had an inning. Two walks to lead off the frame, two ground ball singles and a short sac fly turned into a three-spot for the Redbirds, giving them a 4-3 edge. Clint had a fresh bullpen after the off day; it might have been a good time for him to use it. Pedro doubled with two down in the sixth and was left on; St. Louis also left a two-out single aboard with Arquimedes Caminero on the hill.
|Gregory had three hits to lead the Buccos.|
Gregory singled with an out in the seventh; Starling banged into a DP. Antonio Bastardo came in and had a quiet inning. Martinez, in his last frame, went out in style with a couple flies and a punch out. Jared Hughes had a bumpy inning, but kept the Cards off the board. back-to-back singles were followed by a bunt. The ball was pushed hard into the wheel play, but A-Ram went to first instead of third for no real apparent reason. A four pitch walk jammed the sacks, but a force at home and a soft roller to third closed the gate. Trevor Rosenthal came in to face the Bucs 6-7-8 batters in the ninth.
He sometimes has problems against Pittsburgh, but not tonight as he struck out the side (tho Walker's was a hotly disputed strike three call). So the Cards took another one-run decision at Busch, and the first game of a series is always a big one. Give Martinez credit; he struggled, but threw strikes (no walks, eight K) and got a pair of big twin killings. Locke again went an inning too long; you'd think by now that Clint would know the third time through the order is Locke's red flag.
Gerrit Cole goes after the evener tomorrow; he and Michael Wacha should be quite the show.
- Gregory Polanco had three hits; Starling Marte and Pedro added a pair. But Martinez owned the Bucs main catalyst - Cutch went 0-for-4 with two whiffs and a DP.
- It could have been worse. St. Louis left the bases loaded three times in eight innings.
- Rob Scahill is on the mend; he worked a rehab outing tonight for Altoona, going three scoreless innings while giving up two hits and a walk on 34 economical pitches.
- RHP Wilfredo Bascon has cleared waivers and is back at Indy.