It was a rough night for the Redbirds after an offensive barrage allowed them to swipe two of three against Colorado. The bats were silenced while Pittsburgh starter Vince Velasquez twirled six dominant shutout innings.
Veteran Carlos Santana kicked off the scoring attack for the Pirates with a double that scored Andrew McCutchen in the sixth inning.
In the seventh inning, the Pirate legend returned the favor by driving in a run of his own when he flew out to Tyler O’Neill, scoring Ji-Hwan Bae and making it a 2-0 contest.
The Buck-O’s bought some insurance in the eighth inning when Connor Joe and Rodolfo Castro launched back-to-back solo shots. For both, it was their first round-tripper of the new campaign. The Pirates now led 4-0.
The final punch was delivered in the ninth inning, when Chris Stratton lost control of his slider, forcing Willson Contreras to retreat all the way to the backstop and allowing Ke’Bryan Hayes to score the fifth and ultimate Pirate run.
Ji-Hwan Bae flashed the leather a couple of times, robbing Tyler O’Neill of a two-run double and Alec Burleson of a single. The Cardinals then threatened again with the bases loaded in their half of the eighth, but Nolan Gorman lined out sharply to Ji-Man Choi, ending the inning.
Cardinal starter Jordan Montgomery threw six strong himself, allowing two runs on six hits two walks, and five strikeouts. He continues to lead the way for a struggling Cardinals’ rotation early in the season.
Jordan Walker was unable to extend his hitting streak to 13 games, striking out in the ninth inning against Dauri Moreta. His mark of 12 was short of the major league record of 17 set by David Dahl of the Colorado Rockies in 2016.
Brendan Donovan had two hits including a double, while Paul Goldschmidt and Tyler O’Neill both tacked on two-baggers of their own.
The Redbirds drop to 5-8, four games out of the first-place Milwaukee Brewers while the second-place Pirates improved to 8-5. Tomorrow’s game starts at 7:15 local time, as Jake Woodford will take on former Cardinal Johan Oviedo.