This game quickly turned into one we’ve seen countless times this year. Mitch Keller got bombed from the start, giving St. Louis a big lead. The Pirates missed some scoring chances. It had all the look of a game where the Pirates would just slink away, maybe send a position player out to pitch the last inning or two.
Instead the Pirates exploded for eight runs in the seventh inning. Michael Chavis and Colin Moran each had four hits on the day. Gregory Polanco and Wilmer Difo added three each. Yoshi Tsutsugo belted another pinch-hit home run. And the Pirates won, 11-7.
Keller was bad. He fell behind in the count and got hit hard throughout the first three innings. Nolan Arenado hit a two-run homer in the first. Tommy Edman doubled in a pair in the second and Paul Goldschmidt singled Edman home. Edmundo Sosa added another two-run shot in the third. To make it all even more frustrating, every run scored with two outs.
So the Pirates trailed, 7-1, in the middle of the third. They’d gotten one run, but only one, when Difo led off the second with a single and took third on a Polanco double. The only run came home on a ground out by Kevin Newman.
The Bucs closed to 7-3 in the third on Moran’s seventh home run of the season, which drove in Chavis, who’d singled. But they later stranded two runners when the inning ended.
The pitchers held the fort through the top of the seventh. Keller made it one out into the sixth without allowing any more runs. Kyle Keller got the last two outs in that inning for his second scoreless outing out of his last nine. Chad Kuhl had a scoreless seventh.
Then the dam burst. In the bottom of the seventh, the Pirates scored eight times, all before anybody was retired. Ke’Bryan Hayes started it with a pinch hit double. Eventually, Bryan Reynolds and Difo had two-run singles to tie the game. Polanco put the Pirates ahead with a two-run double. And Tsutsugo followed that with his fourth Pirates home run.
The Cards appeared shell-shocked after that. Chris Stratton struck out the side in the eighth, then David Bednar had an eight-pitch ninth. Kuhl got his first career relief win.