Cardinals pull ahead of Pirates, 5-4
Share with others:
ST. LOUIS -- Pirates starter Erik Bedard struggled this afternoon, allowing five earned runs in 4 2/3 innings as the Cardinals beat the Pirates, 5-4, at Busch Stadium.
Bedard allowed a season-high nine hits against a team that mustered four total the night before.
The Pirates (66-54) had a number of chances to score against the Cardinals (65-55), including a no-outs, bases-loaded situation in the ninth inning. But they scored just one run in the inning as the three, four and five hitters failed to get a hit.
The Pirates stranded 10 baserunners in the game.
Yadier Molina, who missed the previous three games with back tightness, hit a two-out, two-run double that gave the Cardinals a 5-3 lead in the fifth inning and ended Bedard's day.
Rafael Furcal led off the inning with a single before Bedard retired the next two batters. Then, the inning got away from him.
Bedard served up a single to Allen Craig and walked David Freese on a full count to load the bases with two outs. He narrowly missed striking out Freese on a 2-2 curveball that home plate umpire Jim Reynolds ruled was high and outside.
That brought Molina to the plate, and he cracked the first pitch he saw bouncing over the right-field wall.
Molina finished the game 3 for 4 with two doubles, two RBIs and a run.
The Pirates also had the tying run on first base with no outs in the eighth inning. But Pedro Alvarez and Rod Barajas struck out, and pinch-hitter Michael McKenry flied out to left field to end the attempted rally.
Pirates left fielder Starling Marte left the game with "discomfort in his right side," according to a team spokesman.
Cardinals starter Lance Lynn allowed three earned runs on four hits in 4 1/3 innings. Reliever Barret Browning earned the win after pitching one inning without allowing an earned run.
Jordy Mercer doubled his career RBI total -- from two to four -- in the contest.
The Pirates climbed back from a 3-1 deficit in the fifth inning. Marte led off the inning with an infield single. He scored when Mercer laced a ball into the left-field corner for a double. A wild pitch moved Mercer to third, and he scored when Garrett Jones hit a sacrifice fly to right field, tying the score, 3-3.
The Cardinals took a two-run lead in the fourth inning when Shane Robinson dropped a double into right field, scoring Molina from second and Freese from third. It would have been a single for Robinson, but the ball took an awkward hop as Travis Snider approached it and rolled past him.
Clint Barmes had the first Pirates' hit of the day -- and was the Pirates' first baserunner -- with one out in the third inning. Bedard struck out while attempting to bunt Barmes into scoring position, but he advanced to second when Marte was hit by a pitch.
That brought Mercer, who was hitting .159 entering the game, to the plate with two outs. He poked a single to left field that scored Barmes and made it 1-1.
Andrew McCutchen struck out with runners on second and third and two outs, a missed opportunity for the Pirates.
They missed another good chance in the fourth inning, when Lynn walked the bases loaded with one out. But Barmes and Bedard both struck out looking to end the inning and keep the game knotted.
The Cardinals grabbed a 1-0 lead before Bedard recorded his first out. Furcal led off the first with a double over McCutchen's head. He scored on the very next pitch, when Matt Carpenter singled to right field.
First Published August 18, 2012 7:36 pm