(BaseballStL) -- The Cardinal offense hasn’t been able to find a comfortable rhythm yet, either scoring runs in bunches or only squeezing through one or two. The Redbirds would only get one run on three hits making Adam Wainwright’s day harder.
Manager Mike Matheny shuffled his lineup around Sunday inserting Jon Jay into the two spot while pushing Matt Adams up into the clean-up role and bumping Allen Craig down to number six.
Both starters, Wainwright and Edinson Voloquez worked through three innings, matching zeros on the scoreboard until Wainwright allowed two big hits in the fifth. The Georgia native gave up a one out double to Andrew McCutcheon. Then after getting the tough Pedro Alvarez to fly out to Matt Holliday, the Pirates would not be denied a run as Neil Walker also doubled to score McCutcheon.
The Cardinals bats were relatively silent throughout the game, with only one hit in the first five innings, until Jay’s line drive to the gap in the sixth scored Matt Carpenter all the way from first. Voloquez then intentionally passed Holliday to get to Adams, but Pirates manager Clint Hurdle brought in lefthander Tony Watson to face Adams who he was able to strike out, ending the Cards potential rally.
Then in the bottom half of the sixth, the speedy Starling Marte bunted his way on, but was quickly erased on the next batter as Yadier Molina threw out his first base stealer of 2014 on a strike them out, throw them out.
Wainwright gave up a lead-off walk in the seventh to Alvarez who later scored on Tony Sanchez’s double to center field. That run would serve as the difference in the game as the Cardinals were unable to push any more runs across the plate, losing 2-1 to the Bucs. Matheny was impressed with the outcome Wainwright gave them, but the team couldn’t help him offensively.
“It was a tough loss for him,” said Matheny, “He did a real nice job keeping us right there, but we just had trouble putting anything together against Voloquez.”
The Redbirds finally come to Busch Stadium Monday for the home opener against the Cincinnati Reds. Michael Wacha and Tony Cingrani will match-up for the second time after both pitchers were given a no decision in Wednesday’s game.