The Pirates actually got a little offense, but another early meltdown by Trevor Cahill and more inherited runner arson by Duane Underwood, Jr., were more than they could overcome. An early 6-0 deficit turned into an 8-5 loss to St. Louis.
Cahill retired only three batters. He gave up a run on two doubles in the first, then loaded the bases in the second before leaving with calf tightness. Underwood let all three runners score and two of his own. He’s allowed 10 of 11 inherited runners to score since coming to the Pirates.
The Pirates stranded five runners in the second and third, but finally got on board in the fifth on Gregory Polanco’s fourth home run of the year, a two-run shot. Luis Oviedo, on for some white flag work, quickly gave those two back in the bottom of the inning. It wasn’t the most discouraging outing ever; the Cards loaded the bases before Oviedo retired anybody, but he managed to give up only two runs and then threw a scoreless sixth.
That left it 8-2 until the seventh, when the Pirates uncharacteristically got some hits with runners in scoring position. They got one run on a force play, Polanco singled in another for his third RBI, and Ildemaro Vargas, in his first Pirate at-bat, singled in a third as a pinch hitter.
But that was it. Sam Howard had a strong seventh inning after a leadoff walk, fanning Dylan Carlson, Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado. Kyle Keller had a quick eighth. The Pirates, though, went down in order in the eighth. In the ninth, after a leadoff single by Kevin Newman, the next three hitters whiffed.
The Pirates had nine hits, a massive total for them. Michael Perez extended his current streak to 0-for-26 and is now hitting .085.