Jameson Taillon Cruises as Pittsburgh Pirates Even Series Against the Cardinals

ST. LOUIS, MO - JUNE 1: Jameson Taillon #50 of the Pittsburgh Pirates delivers a pitch against the St. Louis Cardinals in the first inning at Busch Stadium on June 1, 2018 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
ST. LOUIS, MO - JUNE 1: Jameson Taillon #50 of the Pittsburgh Pirates delivers a pitch against the St. Louis Cardinals in the first inning at Busch Stadium on June 1, 2018 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images) /

On Friday night, the Pittsburgh Pirates started the month of June with a victory

0. 33. 4. 4. Final

The Pittsburgh Pirates got a much needed win on Friday night. After defeating the St. Louis Cardinals by a score of 4-0, the Pirates are now 30-27 this season. Their 30-27 record includes being 5-3 against the Cardinals and 15-10 against the National League Central.

Friday night’s game was the exact type of game a team would hope for after suffering a crushing defeat the night before. The Pirates came out, took an early lead, never let the Cardinal offense get out of the blocks, and rolled to their 30th victory of the season.

In baseball, often times, it seems players that are late editions to the lineup go on to have big days. On Friday night, Adam Frazier was a late add to the Pirate lineup due to Josh Harrison battling the flu. He then went on to help power the Pirate lineup.

With the game scoreless in the top of the 3rd inning, Frazier hit a one-out double. Francisco Cervelli was hit by a pitch, Starling Marte reached on an error, and the Bucs had the bases loaded. Josh Bell then hit a sacrifice fly to left field to plate Frazier, giving the Bucs a 1-0 lead.

Frazier was at it again in the top of the 5th inning when he hit a one-out triple. This was followed by a Cervelli triple that made the score 2-0 Bucs. Marte then ripped a ball to third base that Matt Carpenter made a great play on to retire him and rob the Bucs of a run.

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Jameson Taillon started for the Pirates on Friday night and cruised through his first 4 innings of work. Starting the bottom of the 5th inning, Marcel Ozuna reached on an infield hit and this was followed by a Dexter Fowler single to right field. However, a pair of strikeouts and a groundout quickly cleaned the mess up for Jamo.

This would be the only time all night that Taillon even got into trouble.

As was the case last Sunday, Miles Mikolas started opposite Taillon on Friday night. Mikolas continued his incredible 2018 season by allowing a pair of runs – only one earned – on 6 hits, a walk, and a pair of strikeouts.

Bell drew his second walk of the game in the top of the 8th inning. Corey Dickerson then doubled – scoring Bell – and he took third base on the throw to the plate. Luckily for the Pirates and Bell, Cardinal catcher Francisco Pina dropped the ball at the plate or else Bell very well may have been out.

Facing new Cardinals’ pitcher Mike Mayers, Colin Moran hit a sacrifice fly to score Dickerson. This extended the Pirate lead to 4-0.

Two starts ago Taillon added a slider to his repertoire. He began to lean on it more in his start against the Cardinals last Sunday, and it was an important pitch for him again on Friday night. In 8 scoreless innings of work Taillon allowed just 3 hits, he issued just a single walk, and he struck out 6.

Outside of his complete game shutout against the Reds in his second start of the season, Friday night was Taillon’s best start of the season.

With both Felipe Vazquez and Kyle Crick unavailable, Pirate manager Clint Hurdle did what he should have down last night and turned to Edgar Santana in the bottom of the 9th inning. Santana would continue what has been a strong 2018 campaign by pitching a scoreless 9th inning to finish off the Red Birds.

By shutting out the Caridnals on Friday night, the Pirates now have a Major League best eight shutouts this season.

After Thursday night’s disaster, Friday night was a great bounce back win for the Pirates. Hopefully, this will springboard the Bucs into having a successful month of June. For being a team that has had their mental toughness questioned some in recent days, they showed a lot of it on Friday night. Kudos to the Bucs for that.

Next: Pirate Mailbag: June 1, 2018

The third game of this four-game series is scheduled for 2:15 p.m. on Saturday afternoon. The Pirates plan to send Chad Kuhl to the mound, while Mike Matheny and the Cardinals will look to counter with Luke Weaver.