In less than 18 hours, the Pirates were dealt two injuries that will force the team to be creative with its roster.
Travis Snider and Neil Walker were both inactive Saturday -- Snider with discomfort in his right side and Walker with a gash in his right hand.
Snider was scratched from the Pirates' lineup less than 15 minutes before the first pitch Saturday. Walker was cut in the eighth inning Friday night when St. Louis shortstop Pete Kozma fell on him while turning a double play. It took six stitches to close the wound, and Walker will be out at least six days.
The Pirates received two time tables for Walker's return -- one from team doctors and one from an outside source -- and the six-day window was the more optimistic of the two.
Walker said Saturday his hand, covered in a soft cast to limit mobility, was sore.
Initially, manager Clint Hurdle said the Pirates hoped to keep Walker off the disabled list.
"If it gets to a point in time where it's problematic for the roster, then we might have to go a different direction," Hurdle said.
With two players down, the Pirates are thin on the bench and likely will make a roster move to add some depth.
Steals plague Burnett
The Cardinals had two stolen bases Saturday against A.J. Burnett, making runners 6 for 6 this season with Burnett on the mound.
In his two seasons as a Pirate, Burnett has allowed runners to steal successfully in 44 of 46 tries.
Hurdle OK on odd switch
When acting manager Jeff Bannister initiated a double switch Friday night that took Andrew McCutchen out of the game, he did so with the blessing of Hurdle, who had been ejected. And Bannister knew it.
Hurdle said he sent a message to the dugout to say he would support such a move.
"It's the only time that I've been thrown out of a game that I sent down my thoughts on the situation," he said.
By inserting Jared Hughes into McCutchen's spot in the batting order, the Pirates pushed the pitcher's spot as far as possible in the batting order and let Hughes pitch in parts of three innings. But it also removed the team's best hitter from the lineup at a time when the Pirates were trailing by five runs.
Had Bannister taken Snider, the No. 2 hitter, out instead of McCutchen, the No. 3 hitter, it might have forced the Pirates to burn another pitcher. That, Hurdle said, was a bigger concern, since Jonathan Sanchez left the game without recording an out.
A rare feat
When Matt Carpenter and Carlos Beltran hit back-to-back home runs Friday night to lead off the first inning, they became the first Cardinals to do so since Tony Womack and Reggie Sanders did it against the Colorado Rockies in 2004. There was a much shorter gap between those two feats than the one that preceded the Womack and Sanders blasts. Before 2004, no two Cardinals had done that since 1958, when Curt Flood and Gene Freese did so against Sandy Koufax, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Michael Sanserino: email@example.com, 412-263-1722 or on Twitter @msanserino. First Published April 28, 2013 4:00 AM