The Cardinals played the second game in a four-game set in Pittsburgh on Friday, as J.A. Happ took the mound across from Dillon Peters for the Pirates. Happ pitched five and two-thirds innings of two-run ball, followed by a one-run performance by the Cardinals’ bullpen. Tommy Edman notched three RBI in addition to one from Harrison Bader as the Cardinals held off the Pirates for a 4-3 win.
Tommy Edman led off the game for St. Louis, flying a sinker to left for the first out. Paul Goldschmidt launched a changeup off the wall in right field. Yoshi Tsutsugo misplayed the ball of the wall, allowing Goldschmidt to reach third with a triple. Tyler O’Neill then popped out to first and Nolan Arenado flew out to right, wasting the one-out triple.
Ben Gamel flew a 1-2 fastball to left-center where Harrison Bader made a routine catch. Ke’Bryan Hayes followed and chopped out to second. Michael Chavis struck out chasing an elevated fastball for the last out.
Yadier Molina jumped on a first-pitch fastball and lined it hard to deep center for the first out. Dylan Carlson was punched out looking at a sinker on the inside half of the plate. Edmundo Sosa followed suit, going down looking at another sinker on the inside corner.
Colin Moran popped out to O’Neill in foul territory for out number one. Jacob Stallings ripped a fastball into center for a base hit. Tsutsugo smoked a sinker but hit it straight at Sosa for the second out. Kevin Newman skied a 2-2 changeup to center to retire the Bucs.
Bader reached on an 0-2 changeup off the plate and grounded out to third. Happ worked a nine-pitch at-bat but ultimately struck out on a 2-2 changeup. Edman then flew out to right, putting the Cardinals down in order.
Anthony Alford flew out to the warning track in center to open the bottom of the frame. Peters was frozen by a slider at the knees for strike three. Gamel then flew a 2-2 fastball to left for the final out.
Goldschmidt tapped a changeup down the third baseline and reached first without a throw for an infield hit. O’Neill was hit by a 2-2 fastball on the elbow to put two on. The promising inning went sour, however, as Arenado struck out swinging and Molina grounded into a 5-4-3 double play to end the Cards’ half of the frame.
Hayes drew a leadoff walk on four pitches but was erased when Chavis grounded into a fielder’s choice for the first out. Yadi then threw behind Chavis and picked him off during Moran’s at-bat, even though on the review of the play it looked like he avoided the tag from Goldschmidt. Moran then popped out to third to send the game to the fifth.
Carlson tapped a changeup back to Peters for the first out in the fifth. Sosa tore an inside fastball down the left field line for a one-out double. Bader followed with his own double, knocking in Sosa to give the Redbirds a 1-0 lead.
Happ grounded out, moving Bader to third with two away. Edman got a sinker slightly up in the zone and launched it into the bleachers in left, extending the lead to 3-0.
Goldschmidt doubled to right on a hit that an uncomfortable Tsutugo probably should have caught for the final out. The double made no difference anyway as O’Neill lined a bullet straight to Newman for the last out.
Stallings rolled a ball into the shift and Edman overran it before throwing it into the Cardinals dugout to move Stallings to second. Tsutsugo lifted a 1-0 slider over Bader’s head in center and Tsutsugo barely beat Arenado’s tag at third for a triple as he closed the deficit to 3-1 with the RBI.
Newman followed the triple with a lineout to second. Alford struck out chasing an eye-level fastball. Wilmer Difo pinch hit for Peters and walked on seven pitches. Gamel, with runners at the corners and two away, lined out to a diving Edman at second to end the Pirates’ threat.
Duane Underwood, Jr. relieved Peters in the sixth and surrendered a hit to Arenado on a swinging bunt. Molina, however, erased him after hitting into a double play for the second time on the evening. Carlson was hit by an 0-2 curveball to take first base but was stranded after Sosa was called out on strikes.
Hayes struck out swinging to begin the bottom of the frame. Chavis grounded out to second for out number two. Moran saw seven pitches before drawing a two-out walk. The Cardinals then made a double switch, replacing Sosa with Paul DeJong as Luis Garcia replaced Happ. Stallings welcomed Garcia with a base hit to put two on. Tsutsugo then walked to load the bases for Newman, who drew the third walk of the inning to score Moran and bring the score to 3-2.
Alford then struck out swinging over a sinker at the bottom of the zone as the Cardinals escaped a dangerous jam relatively unscathed.
Bader opened the seventh with a soft groundout back to the pitcher. DeJong got in on the triples party, lining a sinker off the wall in right that died when it the chain link fencing. Edman brought him in with a sac fly to a flat-footed Gamel in shallow left-center, stretching the Cards’ lead to 4-2. Goldschmidt, needing a home run to complete the cycle, struck out swinging to end the top of the frame.
Gregory Polanco pinch hit for Underwood, Jr. and struck out chasing a splitter in the dirt. Gamel followed with a lineout to center. Hayes also flew out to center, putting the Pirates down quietly.
Nick Mears got the call from the bullpen for the Bucs and retired O’Neill with a popout to Stallings. Arenado lined out to left on a 1-2 curveball. Yadi singled to extend the inning to Carlson, who chopped out to second for the last out.
Giovanny Gallegos took the mound in the eighth for the Cards and gave up a leadoff double to Chavis. Moran then singled to score Chavis, closing the Cardinals’ lead to 4-3.
Stallings lined out to center for the first out. Tsutsugo grounded out to first, but the throw to second was just too late to get Moran on the tag. Newman, with Moran at second and two away, singled to center. Moran was waved home but Bader threw a strike to Yadi, who made the tag to save the tying run and end the inning.
Pittsburgh double switched in the ninth, bringing in Bryan Reynolds to play center, taking Tsutsugo’s place in the order and moving Gamel to right field. Chris Stratton replaced Mears on the mound and gave up a leadoff walk to pinch hitter Matt Carpenter. Bader, swinging on 3-0, flew a fastball to right for the first out. DeJong got under a 2-2 curveball and flew it to left for out number two. Edman closed the top of the frame with a lineout to second.
Alex Reyes came in to convert the save for St. Louis and surrendered a single to Alford, who then stole second. Reynolds was punched out on a back-door slider that caught the outside corner. Gamel was frozen by another slider that broke into the heart of the plate for strike three. Hayes grounded out, sealing the 4-3 win for the Cardinals.
The Cardinals improve to 65-62 and still trail the Reds by 4.5 games for the second Wild Card spot. They also have yet to overtake the Padres, who sit 2 games behind the Reds. Adam Wainwright takes the bump for the Cards in game three of the series across from Steven Brault on Saturday at 6:05 PM CT.
The Carinals’ pitching staff continues to be plagued by injuries, as it seems likely that Jordan Hicks and Ryan Helsley will not see MLB action for the remainder of the season, per Katie Woo of the Athletic. It is also uncertain whether Jack Flaherty will pitch again this season after returning to the IL with a strained shoulder, as reported in the last injury report from Cardinals.com. There is some good news in regard to Dakota Hudson, however, as he is scheduled for his first rehab appearance on Saturday and seems to be on track to return by the end of the season, per Zachary Silver.
It is unlikely that both Ryan Helsley and Jordan Hicks pitch this year, president of baseball operations John Mozeliak says. Helsley will undergo an arthroscopic procedure on his left knee.— Katie Woo (@katiejwoo) August 25, 2021
Dakota Hudson is progressing well, could see some ML action this September.
Dakota Hudson will throw a rehab game for Low-A Palm Beach tomorrow, Mike Shildt said. It'll be the right-hander's first time in a game since his Tommy John surgery. A very positive sign for his return by the end of the year.— Zachary Silver (@zachsilver) August 27, 2021
Final Pitching Lines
Happ (W, 8-6): 5.2 IP / 3 H / 2 R / 2 ER / 3 BB / 4 K / 0 HR
Garcia (H, 4): 1.1 IP / 1 H / 0 R / 0 ER / 2 BB / 2 K / 0 HR
Gallegos (H, 22): 1 IP / 3 H / 1 R / 1 ER / 0 BB / 0 K / 0 HR
Reyes (S, 29): 1 IP / 1 H / 0 R / 0 ER / 0 BB / 2 K / 0 HR
Peters (L, 0-2): 5 IP / 6 H / 3 R / 3 ER / 0 BB / 4 K / 1 HR
Underwood, Jr.: 2 IP / 2 H / 1 R / 1 ER / 0 BB / 2 K / 0 HR
Mears: 1 IP / 0 H / 0 R / 0 ER / 0 BB / 0 K / 0 HR
Sratton: 1 IP / 0 H / 0 R / 0 ER / 1 BB / 0 K / 0 HR