The Pirates battled early. But the offense was shut down after the second inning. St. Louis got to Jeff Karstens and then Chris Resop out of the bullpen. The Cards got seven tallies to support Kyle Lohse in his quest for his 100th career win.
Lohse got nicked in the first and then cut badly in the second. Jose Tabata led of the first with a single. Alex Presley walked. Andrew McCutchen singled to plate one. The rally was quickly repelled when Neil Walker whiffed and Garrett Jones hit into a double play.
In the second Josh Harrison doubled to start the inning. He scored on a single from Ronny Cedeño. Michael McKenry doubled to put runners on second and third. St. Louis pulled the infield in and Karstens grounded out right to Skip Schumaker at second. McKenry was caught in a run down. Cedeño broke for home and shortstop Ryan Theriot’s throw to home short hopped catcher Gerald Laird. Cedeño was safe and McKenry moved up on the error. Tabata’s ground ball out scored McKenry for thr Pirates fourth run.
Despite those four runs, Pittsburgh led by only a run after two innings. St. Louis scored three against Karstens in the first. St. Louis loaded the bases with one out as Allen Craig singled and Matt Holliday doubled. Lance Berkman was intentionally walked to face David Freese. His ground ball out tied the score. But Schumaker and Theriot each followed with two out RBI singles, giving St. Louis three runs.
St. Louis would add single runs in the third and fourth to tie and then take the lead against Karstens. In the third, Berkman was on first with a walk when Schumaker and Theriot again came up with two out singles. Theriot’s safety scored Berkman to tie the score. In the fourth Lohse helped himself with a one out single. He was doubled to third by Jon Jay and scored on a sac fly from Craig to put St. Louis up for good. Craig would be the last batter Karstens would face. Chris Leroux got the final out of the fifth and tossed 2-1/3 innings of hitless relief.
Chris Resop started the eighth and was bruised. The first four hitters reached base. He walked Rafael Furcal who was then caught stealing by McKenry. Holliday doubled. Berkman was walked intentionally to get to Freese. He singled home Holliday and Berkman moved to third. Resop was done. In came Daniel McCutchen. He retired Schumaker on a grounder that scored Berkman and gave St. Louis a three run lead.
The Pirates collected just two hits after the second inning. The best chance for Pittsburgh to get back into it was the eight, trailing by three runs. Walker singled but Jones sharp hit ball was fielded by reliever Arthur Rhodes who started an inning ending double play.
Karstens allowed five runs, nine hits and two walks in his 3-2/3 innings. He struck out one. Lohse was the winner. He gave up all four Pirate runs in five innings. Only two of those runs were earned. He gave up six hits and two walks. He whiffed four. Jason Motte picked up the save by closing out the Pirates with a scoreless ninth.
Leroux went 2-1/3 and gave up no hits.
Harrison was the only Pirate with more than one knock.
Losing three of four.
I think everyone knew that Karstens would have days like this.
Bucs hit into three double plays.
Karstens is now 1-2 against St. Louis. Lohse improved to 7-2 against the Pirates. His career winning percentage against Pittsburgh is better than against any other opponent.
Berkman put up the unusual line of 0-1 withe three runs scored. He walked three times. According to baseball-reference.com, the last player to post a line score like that was Prince Fielder on 8/12/10.
Bucs have won consecutive games just once in August. They are a season worst nine games under .500. They need to go 20-9 to finish over .500.