(BaseballStL) – The Cardinals rank near the bottom of the league with only 21 home runs. Friday night the Redbirds hit two more, but it was a monstrous blast by the Pirates in the eighth that proved to be the difference as the Cards dropped the series opener to the Bucs.
In 17 games, Carlos Martinez had only given up 6 earned runs. But Friday night he gave up another 3 big ones in the eighth inning on a third deck homer from Neil Walker to put the Pirates on top for good 6 to 4.
The Cardinals had just taken the lead in the top half of the seventh on Jhonny Peralta’s eighth home run of the season to put the Cards up 4 to 3. Peralta recorded two hits and a walk to push his average to .240.
The Bucs started the scoring in the bottom of the first as Cards starter Michael Wacha gave up a bases loaded ground-rule double to put the Pirates up by two.
But Allen Craig gave the Cardinals the lead with his fourth homer of the season off of Pirates starter Francisco Liriano. Previously against Liriano, Craig had only one hit in 12 at-bats and 7 strike-outs.
The Pirates tied it up in the fifth after Wacha gave up another ground-rule double to Jose Tabata who came around on a single from Walker. Walker accounted for 4 of the Pirates 6 runs on the night.
Friday was one of Wacha’s shortest outings going just 5.0 innings giving up 7 hits and 3 earned runs. He only gave up one walk and fanned 7 batters in the no decision.
Matt Carpenter also hit his sixth double of the season on his quest to match last year’s total of 55.
The Redbirds look to even up the series Saturday night as Lance Lynn takes on Edinson Volquez.