In a plot that’s getting old fast, Trevor Cahill put the Pirates in a hole in the first inning and they couldn’t climb out of it. They lost to St. Louis, 12-5, leaving them with three straight losses.
Cahill gave up a double to leadoff hitter Tommy Edman, who had four hits in the game. After an RBI single by Paul Goldschmidt and a walk, Paul DeJong made it 4-0 with a blast to left-center. Cahill has now allowed 11 first-inning runs in five starts. After that, Cahill settled in, going five and third and allowing one more run.
The Pirates did get back in the game. They loaded the bases with nobody out in the second, but the only run came on a sacrifice fly by Ka’ai Tom. In the third, they got RBI singles by Colin Moran and Gregory Polanco, making it 5-3.
The bullpen, though, didn’t hold up. Sam Howard got the last two outs in the sixth, but the first two batters in the seventh reached. Duane Underwood, Jr., came on to allow a two-run double.
The Pirates got those two back in the bottom of the inning. Adam Frazier and Bryan Reynolds both doubled, and Moran singled.
With the score still 7-5 in the top of the ninth, Derek Shelton made another one of his head-scratching moves. With Kyle Crick available, he went with Sean Poppen, who apparently needs work much more than Luis Oviedo. Poppen got torched for five runs. Three of them were unearned because of his own error that prolonged the inning, but he gave up three extra base hits. As far as I can see, Poppen is just Alex McRae in disguise.
The Pirates went down in order in the bottom of the ninth. The middle of the order at least had a good day, as Moran had three hits, and Reynolds and Polanco each two. But it’s hard to beat home runs with singles and doubles.