Former Reds pitcher and long time broadcaster Joe Nuxhall would occasionally describe a rather poorly played game by saying ‘There isn’t a woman in the world uglier than that game.’ The Ol’ Lefthander likely would’ve busted out that phrase had he been on hand for today’s proceedings. The Pirates managed only seven hits. St. Louis committed three errors. The only Pirates to knock in a run both came into the game with one RBI on the year. With the victory, the Pirates avoided a sweep and moved back into first by percentage points with San Francisco knocking of Milwaukee on the west coast.
St. Louis started the see saw battle with a run in the second. Colby Rasmus and Skip Schumaker both singled. Gerald Laird knocked a fly ball to Andrew McCutchen that scored Rasmus. The Pirates manufactured a run in the third to tie it up. Eric Fryer singled. He stole second and moved to third on an error from Ryan Theriot. He scored on a double from Chase D’Arnaud.
The Cards jumped back ahead in the fifth. Daniel Descalso led off with a walk. With one out, he advanced to third on a single by Theriot. Bucs starter Charlie Morton uncorked a wild pitch and Descalso came home to make it 2-1. But Pittsburgh got it right back. Ronny Cedeno led off the home half of the frame with a double. Fryer’s ground ball moved him to third and Morton helped himself with a sac fly.
Then the tie was broken in the sixth when Rasmus led off with a bomb. Schumaker followed with a single and after a one out walk to Descalso, Jason Grilli was called on to relieve Morton. He retired pinch hitter Tony Cruz and Theriot to quell the riot.
The Pirates knotted it against the Cardinals bullpen. Kyle Lohse was pulled after five innings. By the seventh Lance Lynn was in his second inning of work. Cedeno led off with a double. Fryer’s bunt went for a single, putting runners at second and third. Steve Pearce, in the game as part of a double switch, hit into a double play that scored Cedeno with the tying run.
St. Louis threatened in the eighth. Laird led off with a double off of Chris Resop, but he was picked off second by Fryer.
Joe Beimel retired the Cards in order in the tenth. The Pirates got the winning run in the bottom of the tenth against Jason Motte. With one gone, Xavier Paul reached on an infield hit. He stole second and moved to third when Laird’s throw was poor. D’Arnaud got him home with a sac fly. Ball game.
Morton went 5-1/3 and gave up three runs. He walked five and gave up six hits. He struck out three. Lohse was pulled after giving up four hits and two runs in five innings. He walked none and struck out four. Beimel was the winner in relief.
Fryer was a monster – two hits, a key pick off and a productive out.
No complaints about Morton other than the walks.
D’Arnaud knocked in career RBIs #2 and #3.
Cedeno and Fryer each had two hits.
Bucs collected just seven hits.
Morton is still 2-3 against St. Louis. Lohse is 5-2 against Pittsburgh.
Albert Pujols went 0-5 for just the sixth time ever against Pittsburgh. He has been 0-3 or worse just 27 times in 161 career games against Pittsburgh.
Fryer has multiple hits in two consecutive games. Bucs catchers are hitting .323 in July.
Bucs had more than two extra base hits for the first time since July 17.