After taking game one of the series, the Pittsburgh Pirates rookies were set on taking game two. In the end they fell just short.
Right off the bat (literally and figuratively) Rodolfo Castro hit a 109.9 MPH homerun to center field in the bottom of the first for his seventh on the season to give the Pirates a 1-0 lead against the St. Louis Cardinals.
In the second inning Jack Suwinski wanted to join in the fun. He hit a 110.3 MPH homerun to right field for his 15th, just after Ke’Bryan Hayes walked, giving them a 3-0 lead. The Pirates could’ve done more damage in the second when Chavis followed Suwinski’s homerun with a walk and then Cal Mitchell doubled to put runners on second and third with no outs. Unfortunately the next three batters hit into outs. On the night Suwinski would go 3-for-4 with the homerun.
From there JT Brubaker was mostly cruising with four scoreless innings before the Cardinals could break through. With one out in the fifth inning Cardinals own rookie Brendan Donovan hit a solo shot to right field cutting the lead down to 3-1. Then in the sixth Albert Pujols (knowing full well he can’t leave Pittsburgh without at least one) hit a two-run homerun to left field for his 17th on the season and 696th of his career.
Brubaker would be done after the sixth inning and a 3-3 tie. In his six innings he allowed six hits, two walks, he hit Molina, and three strikeouts.
Duane Underwood Jr. pitched the seventh inning (and only one inning this time) allowing no baserunners on only nine pitches with eight going for strikes.
To lead off the Pirates half of the seventh inning the Cardinals brought in a LHP to face Oneil Cruz. With the flick of a wrist Cruz hit a Changeup at the bottom of the zone 103 MPH off the bat and 380 to right field for his 14th homerun. Maintaining his hot streak, Cruz ended the night 2-for-4 with the homerun and a walk bumping his OPS to .749 and second on the team behind Bryan Reynolds.
The lead was short lived when Robert Stephenson gave up back-to-back two out hits allowing a run to score and tying the game at 4 in the eighth.
Wil Crowe almost got out of trouble in the ninth till Nolan Arenado hit a bases clearing double after Goldschmidt walked to load the bases with two outs. This gave the Cardinals a 7-4 lead heading into the bottom of the ninth.
Mitchell hit a lead-off double — who himself is in the midst of a hot steak and went 2-for-3 with a double and walk — and would eventually score when Reynolds singled with two outs. That’d be all the Pirates could muster and fell 7-5.
Cardinals @ Pirates
Time: 1:35 PM EST
Pirates Starter: Mitch Keller (5-10, 4.22)
Cardinals Starter: Jose Quintana (5-6, 3.41)
Keller Notes: In his previous start against the New York Mets, Keller threw six shutout innings. After a small hiccup of two starts that included a sore shoulder and defensive miscues, Mitch Keller has thrown six innings in each of his last two starts with only the two earned runs against in the Atlanta Braves game. Sitting at 130.0 IP on the season Keller is closing in on a career high of innings pitched in a season just as Brubaker is. Keller threw 142.1 IP in 2018 across three levels, but his personal high came in 2019 of 151.2 IP between Triple-A and MLB.
— Pittsburgh Pirates (@Pirates) September 11, 2022
1. Brendan Donovan (L) 3B
2. Tommy Edman (S) SS
3. Corey Dickerson (L) LF
4. Albert Pujols (R) 1B
5. Lars Nootbaar (L) RF
6. Tyler O’Neill (R) CF
7. Nolan Gorman (L) 2B
8. Yadier Molina (R) C
9. Alec Burleson (L) DH