Pittsburgh Pirates Defeated by St. Louis Cardinals to Suffer Fourth Consecutive Loss

ST. LOUIS, MO - SEPTEMBER 9: Adam Frazier
ST. LOUIS, MO - SEPTEMBER 9: Adam Frazier /

The Pittsburgh Pirates have now lost four consecutive games

After being defeated by the St. Louis Cardinals by a score of on Saturday night, the Pittsburgh Pirates have now lost four consecutive games. This loss knocks the Pirates to 67-76 on the season and 4-5 in the month of September.

Chad Kuhl started for the Pittsburgh Pirates on Saturday night. After not being able to hold an early lead, Kuhl would still turn in a strong start at Busch Stadium. Meanwhile, for the Cardinals, after first and second inning struggles Carlos Martinez settled in to pitch a strong game as well.

Starling Marte reached on Matt Carpenter throwing error to start the game and then Andrew McCutchen walked with one out in the top of the first inning. However, Carlos Martinez recorded back-to-back strikeouts of Josh Bell and David Freese to end the inning.

In the top of the second inning, Gregory Polanco singled to start the frame. After Jordy Mercer replaced Polanco on the bases via a fielder’s choice, Chad Kuhl hit a double to score Mercer. Two batters later Adam Frazier hit a double to score Kuhl. This gave the Bucs a 2-0 lead.

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Unfortunately, this lead would not last long.

Dexter Fowler reached on an Adam Frazier error to start the bottom of the second inning. Then, Yadier Molina hit a two-run home run to tie the game at 2.

In the top of the sixth inning the Pirates would threaten against Martinez for the first time since the second. Gregory Polanco hit a one-out double and Jordy Mercer was intentionally walked with two outs. However, Martinez would strike out Chad Kuhl to end the inning and his night.

In six innings pitched on Saturday night Carlos Martinez held the Pirates to two runs on four hits, two walks, he hit a pair of batters, and he struck out eight. His performance on Saturday night was vintage Carlos Martinez.

Chad Kuhl would find himself in trouble in the bottom of the sixth inning after a Jose Martinez walk and a Yadier Molina single put runners on the corners with just one out. However, a visit to the mound from Ray Searage would work as Kuhl then struck out Kolten Wong to end the inning.

Kuhl allowed just two runs, one earned, on two hits and six strikeouts on Saturday night. However, he also walked five batters which spiked in pitch count and probably cost him at least one more inning.

With one out in the top of the seventh inning the Pirates would retake the lead. Adam Frazier drove ball to center field that Dexter Fowler crashed into the center field wall attempting to catch. This led to Frazier racing all the way around the bases for his first career inside-the-park home run. This gave the Bucs a 3-2 lead.

Fowler also had to exit the game after crashing into the center field wall on the play as he was replaced in center field by Randal Grichuk.

In the bottom of the seventh inning Dovydas Neverauskas entered the game for the Pirates. After retiring the first two Cardinals hitters of the inning, Neverauskas surrendered a solo home run to Matt Carpenter to tie the game at 3.

With one out in the top of the eighth inning Gregory Polanco collected his third hit of the game and was then replaced by pinch-runner Chris Bostick. Elias Diaz then hit into an inning ending 5-4-3 double play.

In the bottom half of the eighth inning George Kontos was the new Pirate pitcher. Paul DeJong doubled off of Kontos to start the inning. Then with one out and DeJong on third base Randal Grichuk recorded a run scoring groundout to give the Cardinals their first lead of the night by a score of 4-3.

In the top of the ninth inning the Pirates faced former teammate Juan Nicasio. To start the inning, Jordy Mercer singled off of Nicasio. John Jaso then put together a 10-pitch pinch-hit at bat, however, it ended with a strike out. Nicasio then got Starling Marte to fly out and Adam Frazier to stirke out to end the game.

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Saturday night’s game is one that the Pirates either had the lead in or were tied until the bottom of the eighth inning. That makes this loss a frustrating one for the Bucs. Now, the Pirates will need a good start from the struggling Ivan Nova on Sunday in order to avoid being swept.

The third and final game of this series is scheduled for 2:15 PM on Sunday afternoon. The aforementioned Ivan Nova will return to the rotation for the Pirates after having his last start skipped, while the Cardinals will hand the ball to Michael Wacha. Both Nova and Wacha have struggled this season.