Steven Brault threw his first career complete game — in fact, it was his first outing beyond seven innings — and Gregory Polanco drilled a three-run home run to lead the Pirates to a 5-1 win over the Cards. The win opened the Bucs’ final home stand of the season and ended their eight-game losing streak.
Brault simply put together an outstanding start. He allowed just two singles and two walks, and faced just three batters over the minimum. Three of the runners came in the third. Brault issued a one-out walk, then gave up singles to Kolten Wong and Tommy Edman, the latter driving in a run. Ke’Bryan Hayes made a nice play to turn two on Paul DeJong, ending the inning.
After Brault walked Yadier Molina with two out in the fourth, that was it. He retired the last 16 batters of the game. He threw 110 pitches and fanned eight.
On offense, the Pirates got a break when the formidable Dakota Hudson departed after two innings due to elbow tightness. He’d been uncharacteristically wild up to that point.
Down 1-0 in the fourth, the Pirates jumped on Austin Gomber. After Colin Moran and Josh Bell both walked, Erik Gonzalez and Bryan Reynolds both fanned. Polanco, though, lined his sixth home run of the year over the fence in right-center. The three-run bomb came off a lefty, no less. Polanco had already doubled off Hudson and hit the ball hard his last two times up, so maybe there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. After the home run, the Pirates picked up another run when Kevin Newman singled and scored on a double by Jacob Stallings.
The Pirates got their fifth run in the fifth. Ke’Bryan Hayes led off with a double and went to third on an infield hit by Moran. Hayes scored on a sacrifice fly by Bell, a drive to the wall in right-center with Bell hitting right-handed.
The Pirates are now 15-34. They play two tomorrow.