Pittsburgh welcomed back a couple of players from the disabled list. But not much changed for the hitters as the offense didn’t do much against Edwin Jackson. Charlie Morton, trying to close out a great month, was hit hard by St. Louis as the Pirates dropped the opener of the series 8-4.
St. Louis drew first blood. Allen Craig and Albert Pujols hit consecutive one out doubles in the first inning. Lance Berkman hit a two out single to drive home Pujols. Skip Schumaker’s two out single scored Rafael Furcal in the second to make it 3-0.
The Pirates evened it in the third. Michael McKenry reached on an error by David Freese. He was bunted over by Morton and with two outs, he was driven in by a single from Alex Presley. After Jackson walked both Andrew McCutchen and Neil Walker, Garrett Jones hit a two run single to even the score at three each.
The Pirates took the lead in the next inning as Ronny Cedeno and McKenry hit consecutive doubles. McKenry was bunted to third by Morton. But Tabata’s comebacker was fielded by Jackson who tagged McKenry out in between third and home. Presley was retired to end the inning.
St. Louis wrestled back the lead in the fifth. Craig singled. Pujols walked. Berkman walked. That brought Freese to the plate with one out. He singled in two runs to push St. Louis out front 5-4. That also ended Morton’s night. Chris Leroux put out the fire by getting Yadier Molina and Furcal to end the inning.
Pittsburgh had a chance to tie it in the eighth against Jason Motte. Jones singled and was replaced by Xavier Paul. He swiped second and moved to third on a ground out from Matt Diaz. But Cedeno and Ryan Doumit failed to bring him in. Overall the St. Louis bullpen allowed just one hit in three innings to close out the game.
Tony Watson gave up a three run dinger from Matt Holliday in the eighth to seal the win for St. Louis.
Morton gave up nine hits and five earned runs over 4 1-3 innings. He gave up two walks and whiffed only one. Jackson gave up one earned run (four total) over six innings. He walked three and struck out a pair.
Jones and McKenry each had two hits.
Nice long outing by Leroux. He got out of Morton’s jame and then tossed two scoreless innings of his own.
Getting only seven hits.
Moton had been very strong in August, but not this game.
Morton falls to 2-4 against St. Louis. Jackson runs his perfect record to 3-0 against Pittsburgh.
Jose Tabata’s ten game hitting streak ended.
Jones has 15 RBI in August, his strongest month of the year.