The first game of a critical three game series between the St. Louis Cardinals and Pittsburgh Pirates did not go in the favor of the Cardinals. They were outmatched all game long, and in the end, the Pirates gained a game in the division with a 9-3 victory.
But Saturday was a new day, and the Cardinals were bound and determined to gain that game back.
And they were able to do just that, as they defeated the Pirates 4-1. For the afternoon’s game, the starting pitchers were Jaime Garcia (7-4, 2.03), and Charlie Morton (8-6, 4.22). Garcia looked to continue his outstanding season, as he entered with the lowest ERA from all of the Cardinals’ starters.
Garcia had already struck out four batters through the first two innings of the ballgame, while only allowing two hits in the process.
As for the Cardinals’ offense, they were able to score first in the bottom of the second inning. It started with a walk to Kolten Wong, a hit by pitch to Jon Jay, and later, a walk to Matt Carpenter. With the bases loaded, Stephen Piscotty hit an infield single which scored Wong. On the same play, a throwing error by second baseman Josh Harrison allowed Jay to score to make it 2-0 Cardinals.
Meanwhile, Garcia continued to keep the Pirates in check throughout the duration of the seven innings he pitched, tying a career high with nine strikeouts. When he exited the game before the start of the eighth inning, the final line was: 7.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 9 Ks.
The Cardinals were able to score two more runs in the bottom of the seventh inning, when Carpenter, with Greg Garcia on base, hit a two-run home run (his 21st home run of the season) to make it 4-1. In the ninth inning, while the Pirates put a run on the board, thanks to Pedro Alvarez scoring Neil Walker on a single, it was not enough, as the Cardinals won 4-1.
With the win, the Cardinals improved to 87-48, and Garcia improved to 8-4.
In the series finale on Sunday, John Lackey will face off against Gerrit Cole.
(AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)