Photo is credited to Getty Images.
After sweeping the Milwaukee Brewers in a three-game series, the Cardinals dropped three of four games to the Pittsburgh Pirates over the week.
Game One: Pirates 4, Cardinals 2 — WP: Jonathan Niese (7-6) LP: Carlos Martinez (7-6) SV: Neftali Feliz (1)
St. Louis starter Carlos Martinez turned in a seven-inning outing on Monday, one where he made few mistakes, two of which were hefty and came when he was facing Pirates right fielder, Gregory Polanco. Polanco’s two-homer day propelled the Bucs to a 4-2 victory over the Cardinals on Independence Day.
Pirates starter Jonathan Niese lasted 5.2 innings and held the Cardinals to one run. Pittsburgh’s bullpen backed Niese up from that point, as Arquimedes Caminero, Juan Nicasio, and Neftali Feliz copmbined to hold St. Louis to two hits over the final 3.1 innings of the game.
Polanco accounted for three of the Pirates’ four runs on Monday, all coming via the long ball. Pittsburgh’s other run was driven in by John Jaso.
On the other side of things, Matt Carpenter was responsible for the Cardinals’ two runs, recording RBI hits in the fifth and ninth innings.
-With two homers on Monday, Gregory Polanco collected the first multi-homer game of his career for the Pirates.
Before the start of Tuesday’s game, the Cardinals placed Brandon Moss on the 15-day disabled list with an ankle sprain and recalled Randal Grichuk from the Triple-A Memphis Redbirds.
Also prior to the second game of the series, the Pirates placed Jameson Taillon on the 15-day disabled list with right shoulder fatigue; Taillon was expected to start the second game of the series. Steven Brault was recalled from the Triple-A Indianapolis Indians and started in his place.
Game Two: Pirates 5, Cardinals 2 — WP: Juan Nicasio (7-6) LP: Mike Leake (5-7) SV: Mark Melancon (25)
After being designated for assignment by the Cardinals, catcher Eric Fryer was signed by the Pirates on Sunday, July 3. And in Fryer’s first start as a member of the Pirates on Tuesday, it was his three RBIs that proved to be crucial for Pittsburgh, who won the contest by a 5-2 score.
The Cardinals put two runs up on the newly recalled Steven Brault through the first two innings and had him out of the game by the end of the fourth inning.
Pittsburgh got Mike Leake in the middle innings, putting up five tallies across the fifth and sixth frames of the ballgame to end Leake’s outing after six.
Much like the first game of the series, the Pirates turned their lead over to the bullpen, one that combined to work five innings and surrender a mere four baserunners.
Before Wednesday’s game, the Cardinals placed catcher Brayan Pena on the 15-day disabled list with left knee inflammation and selected the contract of Albert Rosario from Memphis.
Game Three: Pirates 7, Cardinals 5 — WP: A.J. Schugel (2-2) LP: Jonathan Broxton (1-1) SV: Mark Melancon (26)
The Cardinals carried a 5-2 lead into the sixth inning, but the team ultimately lost the ballgame, 7-5.
Following a five-inning outing by Jaime Garcia, the Pirates tagged reliever Jonathan Broxton for three runs in the seventh inning.
Despite Sam Tuivailala and Seung Hwan Oh relieving Broxton cleanly, the Cardinals failed to get anything going against the Pirates’ stout bullpen. Starter Jeff Locke turned in four innings, preceding Jared Hughes, A.J. Schugel, Neftali Feliz, Tony Watson, and Mark Melancon.
Hughes, Schugel, Feliz, Watson, and Melancon allowed a combined total of four hits over five innings, allowing zero runs and whiffing four.
-Matt Carpenter exited the game in the bottom of the third after a check swing. He was placed on the disabled list on Thursday with a right oblique strain. To replace him on the active roster, the Cardinals purchased catcher Michael McKenry’s contract from Memphis.
Before the start of Thursday’s series finale, the Pirates promoted right-handed pitcher Tyler Glasnow from Indianapolis to toe the rubber in the fourth game of the series.
Game Four: Cardinals 5, Pirates 1 — WP: Adam Wainwright (8-5) LP: Tyler Glasnow (0-1)
Adam Wainwright spun seven splendid innings for the Cardinals on Thursday to help the team avoid a four-game sweep, beating the Pirates in the final meeting of the series, 5-1/
The start of the game was highlighted by Tyler Glasnow, a righty making his major-league debut. Glasnow was given a 1-0 lead on an RBI from Jordy Mercer and held the Cardinals hitless until Aledmys Diaz led off the bottom of the fourth a with a triple; Diaz came around to score on a wild pitch.
Randal Grichuk broke the tie with a solo home run in the fifth, his first since being recalled from the minors. Later on, in the sixth inning, Stephen Piscotty belted a three-run home run giving Wainwright and the Cardinals a four-run cushion to tool with.
Following Wainwright’s departure from the game, Tyler Lyons, Trevor Rosenthal, and Seung Hwan Oh put the finish touches on a win for St. Louis.
Pirates: The Pirates will return home to PNC Park in Pittsburgh, where they will play host to the Cubs over the weekend.
Cardinals: The Cardinals will head to Wisconsin for a three-game series over the weekend with the Brewers.