The Pittsburgh Pirates were 7-1 victors on Saturday night
On Saturday night, the Pittsburgh Pirates faced Lance Lynn and the St. Louis Cardinals in game 2 of a 3 game weekend series. Lynn is a pitcher the Pirates have had a lot of success against in recent years. This success would continue on Saturday night.
Gerrit Cole pitched a strong game, the Pirate offense exploded, and the Pittsburgh Pirates were 7-3 victors on Saturday night. The Pirates got a lot of clutch offense on Saturday night. 6 of the 7 runs that they scored came with 2 outs in the inning.
With the win, the Pirates are now 35-40 this season and 4-2 on their current road trip. Additionally, due to the Milwaukee Brewers losing on Saturday, the Pirates are now just 4 games out of first place in the National League Central.
Just as they did on Friday night, the Pittsburgh Pirates drew first blood on Saturday night.
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The Cardinals, however, would quickly tie the game. Matt Carpenter led off the bottom of the 1st inning with a home run. This tied the game at 1 and continued the season long problem Gerrit Cole has had with allowing home runs.
The top of the 5th inning saw Josh Harrison hit a 2 out solo home run. Home run number 9 on the season for J-Hay made the score 4-1 Pirates.
David Freese walked to start the top of the 6th inning. With 1 out, Andrew McCutchen singled to put runners on the corners for Jordy Mercer. Mercer grounded out to third base for the second out of the inning, but Freese scored on the play making it 5-1 Pirates. After Chris Stewart was intentionally walked, Lance Lynn walked Gerrit Cole ending Lynn’s night.
John Brebbia would take over for Lynn with the bases loaded and 2 outs. Brebbia proceeded to hit Adam Frazier with a pitch to make it 6-1 Pirates. Then, Josh Harrison was hit with his National League leading 16th pitch to make it 7-1 Pirates. Gregory Polanco then fouled out to end the inning.
When the smoke from top of the 6th inning cleared the Pittsburgh Pirates had plated 4 runs, grown their lead to 7-1, and effectively put the game away. It also capped off a miserable night for Lance Lynn who allowed 7 runs, all earned, on 6 hits, 2 home runs, 3 walks, and 3 strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings pitched.
After the leadoff home run by Carpenter, Gerrit Cole would settle in and pitch a very good game. In 6 innings of work Cole allowed just the 1 run on 5 hits, 2 walks, and 5 strikeouts. With his third consecutive strong start, it is safe to say that Cole is pulling himself out of the mini rut he was in during late May and early June. In his last 3 starts Gerrit Cole has allowed just 3 earned runs on 11 hits, 7 walks, and 13 strikeouts in 20 innings pitched.
In the bottom of the 7th inning, Jhan Marinez took over on the hill for the Pirates. Marinez would continue his great work as a Pirate retiring the Cardinals in order while recording a strikeout.
After the Pirates were retired in order in the top of the 8th inning, Tony Watson pitched the bottom of the 8th for the Pirates. After Despite allowing a leadoff single to pinch hitter Aledmys Diaz, Watson would retire the next 3 batters he faced to keep the Cards off the board.
Wade LeBlanc was then tabbed with pitching the bottom of the 9th inning for the Pirates. LeBlanc issued a leadoff walk to Jose Martinez and then allowed a base hit to Paul DeJong. On his hit, DeJong attempted to go to second base but was thrown out for the first out of the inning.
LeBlanc then got Greg Garcia to lineout to first base for the second out of the inning. After walking Eric Fryer, LeBlanc allowed a 2 run single to Stephen Piscotty cutting the Pirate lead to 7-3. He then got a pop out to shortstop to end the game.
On Sunday, the Pittsburgh Pirates will go for a series sweep. First pitch is scheduled for 8:15 PM as the Pirates and Cardinals will do battle on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball. Chad Kuhl is scheduled to start for the Pirates, while the Cardinals plan to go with long time Pirate killer Mike Leake.