Pirates pound Cardinals, 14-5
Share with others:
ST. LOUIS -- The Pirates hit back-to-back solo home runs for the second consecutive night to spark their third win in a row.
If that doesn't add up, maybe this will: With a 14-5 victory against the Cardinals on Friday, the Pirates (41-35) are halfway to a winning season with more than half of the season to play.
In the win, the Pirates set season highs for runs scored and hits (19), and with four home runs, the Pirates now lead the National League for most home runs on the road this season (50). It was the most runs the Pirates scored in a game since scoring 14 Aug. 31, 2010, against the Cubs, and it was the most hits in a game since smacking 19 July 18, 2010, against the Astros.
The Pirates hit four home runs in a game for the third time this season after doing it three times in the past three seasons combined.
They erased a three-run deficit in the fifth inning and grabbed a four-run lead in the sixth behind some heavy hitting.
Clint Barmes led off the sixth with a first-pitch home run off Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright as the Pirates took a 6-5 lead. Alex Presley followed with his sixth home run of the season, cracking a 2-2 pitch over the right-centerfield wall.
Casey McGehee and Pedro Alvarez hit back-to-back home runs in the first inning of the Pirates' 5-4 victory against the Phillies on Thursday.
The power hitting continued in the sixth for the Pirates when Garrett Jones hit a low-flying two-out, two-run homer off reliever Eduardo Sanchez to make it 9-5.
It was the first time since July 22, 2009, that the Pirates homered three times in an inning. Then, against the Milwaukee Brewers, Jones, Andrew McCutchen and Ryan Doumit each homered in the third inning en route to an 8-7 victory.
Wainwright left the game after Presley's home run, having surrendered seven earned runs on 11 hits in five-plus innings. He struck out seven batters, walking one.
Counterpart Kevin Correia was shaky, allowing five earned runs on six hits in five innings. He struck out three batters and walked two on 90 pitches.
It was the ninth consecutive start Correia failed to pitch past the sixth inning, and the fourth this season he failed to make it past the fifth.
A two-out rally in the fifth inning allowed the Pirates to erase a three-run deficit.
McCutchen and Jones each hit two-out singles off Wainwright, who issued a walk to Neil Walker to load the bases and bring Alvarez to the plate. A .556 career hitter with the bases loaded entering the at-bat, Alvarez cranked the first pitch he saw down the right-field line for a bases-clearing double that tied the score, 5-5.
Correia's biggest mistake of the night gave the Cardinals (40-37) the lead. With a 2-1 count on Allen Craig, catcher Rod Barajas set up on the outside of the plate for Correia's slider. But Correia missed the mark by about a foot inside, leaving the 88-mph pitch over the plate.
Craig hit it 408-feet, over the left-field wall that scored three and gave the Cardinals a 5-2 lead.
Carlos Beltran tied the score earlier in the inning with his 2,000th career hit, an RBI single to left field that scored Rafael Furcal to make it 2-2.
The Cardinals cut an early Pirates' lead in half in the second inning, sparked by a leadoff double by Craig. He moved to third when Yadier Molina slowly grounded out to third base, a play Alvarez had to make with his bare hand. Craig scored on the next play, when David Freese grounded out to shortstop as the Pirates' infield was playing at normal depth with a 2-0 lead.
The Pirates plated two runs in the first inning. Jose Tabata hit a one-out single, a bouncing ball that cleared the right side of the infield. McCutchen followed with a screaming line drive that bounced just shy of the left-field wall, a double that moved Tabata to third. After Jones lined out to first base, Walker dropped a single into right field, just beyond the reach of Beltran, scoring Tabata and McCutchen.
It was the 15th time in the Pirates' past 17 games that they scored in the first inning.
McCutchen hit a three-run homer in the top of the ninth, his 15th of the season.
First Published June 29, 2012 11:32 pm