The business of baseball can really suck. It’s not hard to understand why the Pirates might trade Adam Frazier (or, less likely, Bryan Reynolds), but it’d sure be nice to spend the next however many years watching those two and Ke’Bryan Hayes bat 1-3 for the Pirates. The trio got on base 11 times, scored six runs and drove in five as the Pirates beat St. Louis, 8-2.
It didn’t hurt that Chad Kuhl had his third good start out of his last four. Kuhl went six innings on 93 pitches, giving up three hits and three walks. He didn’t exactly dominate — his only two strikeouts came in the first inning — but the Cards never strung anything together. The only run Kuhl allowed came in the second, on a walk, a ground out and an RBI single by Lars Nootbaar. Yes, Lars Nootbaar. Brother of Nigel Nootbaar.
The Pirates’ offense got plenty of help from Carlos Martinez, whom Mike Shildt left in to walk seven over five innings. A walk to Frazier to start the game, singles by Hayes and Reynolds and a force out gave the Pirates a 2-0 lead and they never trailed. Reynolds made it 5-0 in the fourth with his 13th home run, a three-run shot. (Is it my imagination, or does Reynolds’ swing look incredibly easy?)
The Bucs added a run in the sixth on Frazier’s fourth longball of the year. Two more came home in the eighth. The first was a pinch hit home run by Phillip Evans, his fifth homer of the year and first since April 21. Frazier, Reynolds and Moran singled to bring in the last run.
Chris Stratton followed Kuhl with a ten-pitch seventh. In the eighth, Geoff Hartlieb came on for the first time since June 13. He retired the first two hitters, but a single, two walks and a hit batsman forced in a run. David Bednar got the last four outs.
Frazier finished 3-for-4 with a walk and three runs. Hayes was 2-for-4 with a walk. Reynolds was 3-for-4 with a walk and four RBIs.