Pirates' loss marks 19th losing season
Pirates starting pitcher Charlie Morton.
Pirates first baseman Derrek Lee is tagged out by Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina.
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They fought it all game.
Charlie Morton put runners on base, but left them there, with the help of diving catches. The Pirates doubled their way onto the basepaths but found themselves stranded as well. In the end, the 12,520 in attendance at PNC Park today watched the Pirates reach a 19th consecutive losing season, extending a record in North American professional sports.
The 3-2 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals today was the clincher.
Morton returned from skipping a start and pitched seven innings of three-run ball, but lost his 10th game of the season. The Pirates doubled four times and had multi-hit days from Alex Presley and Derrek Lee, but only scored twice.
Ryan Ludwick and Neil Walker made diving catches on line drives in the sixth and eighth to end the innings.
The Cardinals doubled twice in the top of the first, but only scored once. Rafael Furcal hit the first pitch of the game down the right-field line, went to third on Jon Jay's sacrifice bunt and scored on Allen Craig's double.
The Pirates couldn't take advantage of two hits to lead off the second. Lee singled and Ryan Ludwick doubled, putting men on second and third with none out. Pedro Alvarez hit a grounder to first, and Albert Pujols threw home to catch Lee at the plate. Ronny Cedeno grounded back to Jackson and started a 1-6-3 double play.
The Pirates got two hits in the third and this time netted a run to tie the game. Michael McKenry doubled, but Morton could not get down a bunt to advance him. Presley doubled to score McKenry.
Yadier Molina's double in the fourth scored Lance Berkman, who had walked, and Craig, who was hit by a pitch, to put the Cardinals ahead 3-1.
Berkman tripled to the North Side Notch to lead off the sixth, but Morton struck out Craig and Skip Schumaker. Molina dribbled a weak grounder to third, but Alvarez threw it on the run and Lee snagged the ball backhanded on one bounce to end the inning.
Presley hit his second double in the sixth and scored when Lee doubled off the Clemente Wall, cutting the Cardinals' lead to 3-2.
First Published September 14, 2011 3:23 pm