(BaseballStL) -- In search of their missing offense, the St. Louis Cardinals found bits and pieces of it before demolishing the Pittsburgh Pirates in a 13-0 win on Thursday.
The Cardinals tagged Pirates starter Charlie Morton for five runs on ten hits over six innings pitched. It was a nice change for a team that scored two or fewer runs in six of its last seven games, all losses.
Most of the runs off Morton didn’t come from the likes of a long home run or a double hit in the gap. Rather the early runs came from plays such as a wild pitch, a hit-by-pitch and a double-play ground out. Heck, the Cardinals didn’t care how they came as long as they were there.
The first run scored on a two-out wild pitch from Morton with Pete Kozma at the plate and runners on the corners in the second inning.
Two innings later, the Cardinal scored when Jon Jay was plunked with a pitch and the bases loaded. Another run scored in the next at-bat when Tony Cruz grounded into a double play to make it 3-0. It wasn’t until Pete Kozma followed Cruz with a single that a run came from a base hit in the game.
Carlos Beltran added to the lead with a two-out RBI double in the sixth inning for a 5-0 lead. It was only his second RBI in his last 10 games. It also marked the first time the Cardinals scored more than four runs in a game since an 11-3 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on July 24.
That was only the start of what was to come for St. Louis.
With Morton out of the game, the Cardinals blasted right-handed reliever Jeanmar Gomez for three runs on four hits and a walk before recording an out in the seventh inning. The first out recorded produced a run on a sacrifice fly from Matt Carpenter for a 9-0 lead. Beltran walked to load the bases before Gomez was yanked from the game.
Allen Craig, who went 1-for-24 through the first seven games of the trip, smacked his second hit of the game, a two-run double, off the left field wall to make it 11-0 before two more runs scored on a Holliday ground out and a Freese double. The eight-run seventh inning brought 12 batters to the plate and gave St. Louis a 13-0 lead.
Gomez and Vic Black combined to allow the eight runs (five earned) on seven hits and two walks. The two relievers combined to throw 52 pitches in the seventh inning.
Despite scoring 13 runs, the Cardinals failed to hit a home run for the seventh consecutive game. The team has not hit a home run in the last 272 at-bats.