Game Recap: Bullpen Helps Pirates Edge Cardinals

Wil Crowe didn’t have a very good game but still picked up his first major league win as the Pirates beat St. Louis, 5-4.  The win was the team’s fifth in its last seven games.  The Cards have lost five straight and are 6-16 in June.

The Cards got the first run in the bottom of the second.  With two on and one out, Crowe hit his mound opponent, Kwang Hyun Kim.  A force out put St. Louis up, 1-0.

On the rare occasions when the Pirates have a big inning, they don’t generally do it like other teams.  Not with three home runs in an inning or whatever.  They took a 4-1 lead in the top of the third by scratching out four runs.  With two on, Ke’Bryan Hayes singled in a run.  Bryan Reynolds singled to load the bases and Jacob Stallings made it 2-1 with a ground out.  Phillip Evans then lined to shallow right.  Lars Nootbaar had it in his glove but dropped it, and Evans was gifted by the scorer with a two-run single.

The lead didn’t last very long, as Crowe got hit hard by the struggling Cards’ lineup.  Nolan Arenado led off the bottom of the third with a home run.  Later in the inning, Yadier Molina doubled and scored on a single by the ever-present Nootbaar.  A home run by Dylan Carlson in the fourth tied the game.

The Pirates scraped together another run in the fifth to take a 5-4 lead.  Jacob Stallings singled in a run, leaving runners at the corners with one out.  This time, though, Evans fanned and Erik Gonzalez bounced out.

Crowe ended up lasting five innings, giving up the four runs on eight hits.  Clay Holmes came on for the sixth and survived two walks.  He also got the first two hitters in the seventh.  With the left-handed-hitting Nootbaar up, Derek Shelton didn’t take any chances on getting nootbommbed.  He called for Chasen Shreve, who walked Nootbaar anyway.  Fortunately, Shreve fanned right-handed pinch hitter Jose Rondon.

The eighth and ninth stayed on script.  Kyle Crick gave up a hit and a walk in the eighth, but no runs.  Richard Rodriguez, who seems to be back in form after a brief stretch of modest struggles, needed just 11 pitches, nine strikes, to get through the ninth.  He fanned the Mighty Nootbaar for the final out, notching his tenth save.