Cardinals hold on late, avoid Pirates sweep -

Cardinals hold on late, avoid Pirates sweep

(BaseballStL) – It’s hard to guess which Cardinal offense will show up to the ballpark each night. The team who scores 7 runs in a game or the team that can’t scratch any runner from second base across the plate.

Sunday night, the good Cardinal offense showed up to tack on four runs in the first inning off of Pirates starter Charlie Morton to avoid a sweep, but they did everything they could to give the game away.

The Cards didn’t score again in the game until the eighth inning, as the Pirates had chipped away at the score to make it 4-3. The Redbirds got two insurance runs, one on a single from Peter Bourjos and the other on a wild pitch to push the game to 6-3.

The Bucs threatened in the ninth with the bases loaded and the score 6-5 as Trevor Rosenthal struggled with one out. Rosenthal got Jordy Mercer to ground back to him for a double play (1-2-3 DP) to preserve a 6-5 victory for the Cards.

The Cards handed starter Shelby Miller a 4-run lead before he even stepped on the mound, something they haven’t done all season for him. In Miller’s 8 starts, the Cards have scored 4 or more runs just 3 times.

Miller and Molina looked to have a disagreement in the third inning on pitch calls. Miller hit Neil Walker and walked last year’s MVP Andrew McCutcheon to load the bases for Pedro Alvarez. Alvarez hit ball to dead center that appeared to be headed out for a grand slam to tie the game, but Jon Jay hauled the ball in just near the wall, much to the joy of Miller.

But the joy wouldn’t last long as Miller’s night ended with 5.1 innings pitched, giving up 2 runs, 4 hits and 4 free passes. He only had 2 strikeouts and very little command over his pitches. Miller has yet to pitch more than 6.0 innings of his games.

Allen Craig, Yadier Molina, Matt Adams and Mark Ellis had all four RBIs in the first inning. Craig, who has a career .500 average against Morton, continued his dominance over the right hander pitcher going 2 for 4 on the night to bring his average to .221.

The Cards finally came back home for a series against the Chicago Cubs beginning Monday.

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