Roansy Contreras overcame a rocky 1st inning to turn in a strong start as a 10th inning home run by Andrew McCutchen capped off a come-from-behind victory for the Pittsburgh Pirates on Jackie Robinson Day
Game three of a four-game series at Busch Stadium between the Pittsburgh Pirates and St. Louis Cardinals fell on Jackie Robinson Day. What ensued was a back-and-forth battle between the two division rivals. Both teams scratched for a lead late into the game before reaching extra innings tied at 3-3.
The Pirates would explode in the 10th inning off an Andrew McCutchen home run that gave the Buccos the lead. With the 6-3 victory, the Pirates have taken two of the first three games of this series to improve to 9-6 on the season.
Ke'Bryan Hayes leads to game off with a home run
Ke'Bryan Hayes has struggled all season so far, and it only took four pitches before Hayes hit a fly ball homer to center field—the first leadoff homer of his career, as well as his 1st home run of the season.
Following that, Hayes was walked in the 3rd inning on his second at-bat showing off excellent plate discipline. That walk would lead to Bryan Reynolds singling, pushing Hayes to second base. Hayes shows off his speed with two outs stealing third base. Hayes was sent home after Cardinals starting pitcher Steven Matz walked Connor Joe.
Hayes demonstrated exceptional defensive skills during the bottom of the 5th inning; Paul Goldschmidt hit a line drive straight to Hayes's glove at third. Hayes quickly pivoted to the bag completing an impressive unassisted double play. Hayes' defensive prowess highlights why he is considered one of the league's top defensive players.
Roansy Contreras struggles with control but goes 6 strong
Roansy Contreras had a rough 1st inning, although it did include some tough luck. Brendan Donovan doubled on a pop-up to third baseman Ke'Bryan Hayes who did not get underneath the ball in time. This would continue after Alec Burleson hit a ground-rule double on a line drive down right field, allowing Donovan to get the first Cardinal run. Nolan Gorman would get the sacrifice fly out to center, giving the Cardinals a 2-1 lead.
Starting the 2nd inning, Contreras walked Lars Nootbaar, which would be the first of two times he would do so in this game. Tommy Edman would follow up by grounding into a Pirates double play. Contreras would finish the inning by popping up Andrew Knizner for the final out. 35 pitches in his 2nd inning were better than the first.
He would continue to struggle in the third and fourth innings with finding the strike zone. Many of his pitches would see outside the strike zone, even eating dirt in most cases.
In the bottom of the 6th inning, which would be his last, Contreras turned it around with three straight strikeouts against Nolan Arenado, Nolan Gorman, and Jordan Walker. While it was an up-and-down start for Contreras, he held the Cardinals to just 2 runs in 6 innings and finished on a high note.
Pirates go extra innings, capitalize off an Andrew McCutchen homer
Rob Zastryzny came into the game in the bottom of the 7th inning with the game tied 2-2. It did not take long for things to fall apart at the mound as Zastryzny walked Nootbaar. Edman singled on a ground ball that was followed by an Andrew Knizer sacrifice bunt. After Zastryzny walked Donovan to load the bases, his day came to an end.
Derek Shelton would bring in Robert Stephenson. With little to work with, Stephenson struck out Dylan Carlson, which puts the Cardinals at two outs. He would then walk Paul Goldschmidt pushing the Cardinals ahead 3-2 before getting the final out of the inning.
Top of the 8th, Connor Joe comes up big with two outs getting a single. Rodolfo Castro would double on a ball that hit the left field wall and died, allowing Joe to race all the way home to tie the game. Colin Holderman and David Bednar would then pitch clean, easy 8th and 9th innings, respectively.
Bryan Reynolds began the 10th inning on second base. Andrew McCutchen would then do Cutch things and hit the go-ahead home run giving the Pirates a 5-3 lead. Rodolfo Castro's single sent Connor Joe home pushing the lead to 6-3.
Dauri Moreta would come in clutch in the bottom of the 10th by getting Goldschmidt to pop out and striking out Nolan Arenado before Nolan Gorman lined out at second base to end the game.
Mitch Keller (3.57 ERA, 4.45 FIP) will be looking to have a big day on the mound against the St. Louis Cardinals. Cardinals starting pitcher Miles Mikolas (10.05 ERA, 5.74 FIP) has had a rough start to his 2023 campaign. The Pirates will be looking to take advantage of such in the final game of this series, ahead 2-1. The first pitch from Busch Stadium is scheduled for 2:15 PM ET.