PITTSBURGH — Andrew McCutchen immediately halved the lead with a first-pitch home run in the ninth, going deep to left field.
Rosenthal rebounded to strike out Neil Walker quickly for the first out.
Russell Martin walked on four pitches, bringing the winning run to the plate in the form of Pedro Alvarez.
He tapped a ball back to Rosenthal for the second out, leaving a man on second for Starling Marte.
The left fielder flew out to center to end the game.
— — — —
After seven innings from Lackey and only one Pirate run, the bullpen took over with a two-run lead.
Pat Neshek tossed a scoreless eighth and was relieved in the order by Shane Robinson. Robinson singled up the middle with one out, getting the Cardinals back to the top of the order.
He would get thrown out stealing, injuring what appeared to be his shoulder in the process. Matt Carpenter would ground out to send the game into the bottom of the ninth with Trevor Rosenthal on the mound.
— — — —
Kolten Wong pushed Liriano from the game with an infield single to begin the seventh inning.
The Pirates starter left with 91 pitches, striking out eight and walking three.
Wong would get picked off by reliever Jared Hughes with Cruz at the plate, giving the Pirates a free out.
He would have been standing on second one pitch later, as Cruz lifted a ball into left field for a single. Instead, John Lackey gave himself up for the second out in order to move the Cardinal catcher up to scoring position for Matt Carpenter.
The leadoff man would walk, prompting Mike Matheny to tap Jon Jay as pinch hitter. He singled into shallow center to core Cruz from second, and when McCutchen misplayed the ball, Carpenter and Jay trotted into scoring position.
Matt Holliday took the first pitch he saw into left field for a two-run single, giving the Cardinals a 3-1 lead with two outs.
Matt Adams would ground out to end the inning, but John Lackey would take the mound with the first St. Louis lead of the game.
— — — —
The Cardinals finally mounted a challenge in the sixth, loading the bases with only one out.
Matt Holliday doubled for the 31st time to center, making him the second Cardinal to reach sec on base all night.
Adams and Peralta walked behind him to fill the vacancies and bring Taveras to the plate with a chance to take the lead.
Instead, he reached for a pitch and tapped to third, setting off a 5-2-3 double play to end the inning.
— — — —
Matt Adams had a scary moment in the bottom of the fifth, when a collision with Kolten Wong put him into the fence.
With one out, Travis Snider hit a foul pop up near the seats down the first base line. Adams tracked it, as did Wong and Oscar Taveras, and seemed to have bead on it.
As it came down, Wong and Adams collided, pushing the first baseman’s face into short fence lining the seats.
It looked bad live, but after trainers visited him he stayed in the game. He appeared to be bleeding from the lip, but no other damage.
— — — —
The Cardinals continued to flounder against Liriano in the fifth inning.
Kolten Wong led things off with a single, but a fielder’s choice off the bat of Tony Cruz cut him down at second.
John Lackey bunted Cruz to second, but Carpenter struck out to end the inning.
It was the eighth Cardinal strike out on the night, as they’ve managed only five runners all game.
— — — —
It took until the fourth inning, but the Cardinals finally got a hit off Liriano.
With two out, Jhonny Peralta took a ball into right field to put a man on. He is now 11 hits shy of 1,500 for his career.
The inning ended shortly after, when Oscar Taveras took a called third to close the frame.
St. Louis has brought 15 batters to the plate, reaching base only three times. Peralta has two of those, making it aboard on an error in the second inning. Carpenter has the other with a two-out walk in the third.
-- -- -- --
Pedro Alvarez did what he does best, hitting a home run to left center field to open the scoring in the second inning.
It was his 18th of the season, and put the Pirates ahead 1-0 with one out.
Starling Marte reached on an infield single and Jody Mercer followed suit with a dribbler to third. With two on, Francisco Liriano sac bunted to third to move them to second and third.
Josh Harrison gave a ball a ride to left field, bringing the Pirates faithful to their feet, but Matt Holliday tracked it down to avoid further damage.
— — — —
It may have been 10 years, but the Pirates picked up where they left off with John Lackey.
After a 1-2-3 top half, Josh Harrison got things started in the first with a leadoff double, then moved to third on an Andrew McCutchen single with one out.
With runners on the corners, Neil Walker worked a full count. On the sixth pitch of the at bat, McCutchen took off for second. Walker hit a grounder sharply to short and Jhonny Peralta snared it and through to Kolten Wong at second.
Wong sprinted to the bag, beat McCutchen by a hair, leapt off the base and threw to first while still in the air, catching Walker to end the inning.