The Pittsburgh Pirates have now won three of their last four games
If you’re like the 2017 Pittsburgh Pirates and are not going to make the postseason, spoiling another team’s season can somewhat ease the pain. Doing this to arguably your biggest rival makes it even better and that is what the Pittsburgh Pirates did this weekend.
With a 4-1 victory on Sunday afternoon the Pirates captured a series victory over the St. Louis Cardinals. With the win, the Bucs improved to 71-85 overall on the season and they will finish 2017 8-11 against the Cardinals. Also, this victory eliminated the St. Louis Cardinals from contention in the National League Central and knocked them to 2.5 games out of the second National League Wild Card spot.
Jameson Taillon started for the Pirates on Sunday afternoon and turned in a fine effort. In five innings of work Taillon allowed just one run on four hits, a walk, and six strikeouts. The lone run Taillon allowed came via a Matt Carpenter solo home run in the top of the third inning.
Carpenter’s third inning home run opened the score on Sunday afternoon. However, it would not take the Pirates long to get on the board themselves.
Chris Bostick being hit by a pitch, and then back-to-back singles by Starling Marte and Andrew McCutchen loaded the bases with no one out in the bottom of the third inning. This led to a Jose Osuna sacrifice fly that tied the game at a run apiece.
Unfortunately, the bottom of the third inning did not go without a hitch. Following Osuna’s sacrifice fly, McCutchen was caught stealing for the second out of the inning. Sean Rodriguez then grounded out to end the frame.
The game would remain tied until the bottom of the fifth inning. After Bostick singled to start the inning, Marte would launch a two-run home run to left field. Marte’s seventh long ball of the season gave the Pirates a 3-1 lead.
After Edgar Santana pitched a 1-2-3 top of the sixth inning, the Pirate lead would grow in the inning’s bottom half. Jordan Luplow, who had tripled earlier in the game, led off the inning with a home run off of Brett Cecil. Luplow’s third Major League home run made the score 4-1 Pirates.
Things would then get dicey for the Pittsburgh Pirates in the top of the seventh inning.
Daniel Hudson started the inning on the mound for the Pirates and recorded the first two outs of the inning. However, he also issued a pair of walks leading to him being pulled for left-handed specialist Dan Runzler.
To counter this, Cardinals’ manager Mike Matheny called upon right-handed power hitter Randal Grichuk to pinch-hit. Runzler would proceed to walk Grichuk to load the bases. Clint Hurdle then went to George Kontos who got Tommy Pham to ground out to end the inning, keeping the score 4-1 Pirates.
After Kontos pitched a scoreless eighth inning, Felipe Rivero was summoned in the top of the ninth inning. Rivero would bounce back from his blown save on Friday night by retiring the Cardinals in order while recording a pair of strikeouts. This sealed the 4-1 victory for the Pirates.
After a day off on Monday the Pittsburgh Pirates begin their final home series of the 2017 season. The Bucs will host the Baltimore Orioles at PNC Park on Tuesday and Wednesday night. Tuesday night’s game is scheduled to be a pitching matchup between Trevor Williams and Kevin Gausman. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05.