CINCINNATI -- Holy ghost of Harvey Haddix, imagine if the Pirates were actually no-hit by St. Louis' Chris Carpenter and had won that game Thursday ...
Haddix, of course, lost his no-hit bid in the 13th inning back in 1959 against the Milwaukee Braves, and Carpenter lost his no-hit bid on a Ramon Vazquez single in the seventh of what proved to be a 2-1 victory in a one-hitter he mostly trailed, 1-0, without permitting a hit.
"I'm very proud of the way they played [against St. Louis Thursday]," said Pirates manager John Russellbefore the series opener against the Cincinnati Reds was rained out last night. "It's not too often you get one hit and you have a chance to win a game."
The Pirates mustered one unearned run in the third. Vazquez walked and moved to third when Albert Pujols threw Ross Ohlendorf's bunt into center field. Pujols wasn't able to nab Nyjer Morgan's ensuing grounder and cleanly throw out Vazquez at home, either, pulling Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina away from the plate. That gave the Pirates a 1-0 lead that they and Ohlendorf carried into the seventh, when Vazquez got a single and the Pirates had runners on the corners but failed to add to their score. In the bottom of that inning, St. Louis scored twice, then held on for the victory, tying the season-opening series at 2-2.
"We were in that game all the way until the end," Russell added.
He pointed to Ohlendorf, who allowed four singles and nary a runner beyond second base through his opening six innings of the season.
"I thought Ross threw a very nice game, but it's unfortunate he faced Carpenter. [The 2005 National League Cy Young winner] was amazing. But to have one hit and still have the opportunity to win, that doesn't happen very often. That shows a lot of fortitude by your team. We kept battling. It's just unfortunate that we gave up those two runs. It was interesting. It would've been really interesting to walk away with a win with just one hit."
Overall, the 2-2 split series "was really good," Russell added. "You take away the second game [a 9-3 loss] -- we got behind early, we were put behind the 8-ball really fast -- I thought we played well the two games we won. We pitched well."
The rainout -- to be scheduled later, quite possibly Sept. 3 -- meant the following for the pitching rotations:
Pirates scheduled starter Jeff Karstens moves into the bullpen until his next scheduled turn Thursday against Houston, and the rotation otherwise remains on track. Paul Maholm is on tap for today and Ian Snell tomorrow, then Zach Duke Monday for the home opener and Ohlendorf Wednesday against Houston.
The Reds erased Micah Owings' turn today in favor of a start by Johnny Cueto, who was the scheduled starter last night. The forecast for today is sunny and 60 degrees.
• Russell planned to rest Ryan Doumit and allow backup catcher Jason Jaramillo to make his major league debut today, but that was before the rainout. Jaramillo's debut could still come today or tomorrow.Luis Cruz is the only other Pirate who has yet to play. "Part of the thing with Luis, he is so versatile," Russell said of Cruz, who plays every infield position and the outfield. "You hate to use a guy like that early [in a game]. When you need to do something late, pinch run or whatever, you've got a guy who can go out and play multiple positions. I'd like to get him in a game [soon], if we can."
• Starter Jimmy Barthmaier, a member of the 40-man roster, exited Class AAA Indianapolis' game last night after facing just two batters -- both walked -- because of an elbow injury. Kyle Stark, director of player development, confirmed the injury but said there had been no diagnosis yet of its severity.
• Adam LaRoche, after a day off because of a 24-hour bug, and Andy LaRoche, rested after committing three errors in a two-day span, were scheduled to return to the lineup last night, batting back to back as Nos. 5 and 6.
INDIANAPOLIS (0-1) opened its International League season by losing to Toledo, 16-5. RHP Jason Davis (0-1, 18.00) allowed four runs and five hits in two innings. He struck out one and walked one. RHP Evan Meek (0.00) pitched a scoreless inning of relief. He struck out two and walked one. 2B Andy Phillips (.600) hit his first home run and went 3 for 5. CF Andrew McCutchen (.500) went 2 for 4 with a triple and walk.
ALTOONA (0-2) lost at Erie, 10-7. RHP Brad Lincoln (0-0, 6.75) allowed three runs and three hits -- one home run -- in four innings. He struck out six and walked two. LHP Danny Moskos (9.00) allowed one run and two hits in one inning of relief. SS Brian Friday (.556) hit his first home run, a two-run shot, and went 2 for 4 with a walk. CF Jose Tabata (.333) went 1 for 4 with a walk.
LYNCHBURG (1-0) opened its Carolina League season by beating Potomac, 6-5. RHP Matt McSwain (0-0, 6.75) allowed three runs and six hits in four innings. 3B Pedro Alvarez (.750) homered, doubled and went 3 for 4 with four RBIs in his professional debut. The home run, a two-run shot to center, came off Andrew Kown in the sixth inning. SS Jordy Mercer (.667) went 2 for 3 with a walk.
WEST VIRGINIA (0-1) opened its South Atlantic League season by losing to Lexington, 5-4. RHP Duke Welker (0-0, 9.00) allowed five runs and five hits in five innings. SS Chase D'Arnaud (.667) went 2 for 3 with a double, two RBIs and a walk.
Staff writer Dejan Kovacevic contributed to this report. "/>. Catch more on the Pirates and join the discussion at the PBC Blog .