Found August 31, 2013 on
St. Louis Cardinals
Lance Lynn was not a happy man Saturday night at PNC Park. The Pirates hung two runs on St. Louis’ starter in the second inning and scored another five in the third to take a 7-1 lead.
The big blow came in the third, when Russell Martin squared up a 94 mile-per-hour fastball left elevated over the middle of the plate for a three-run home run to right-center field. Martin’s 13th home run of the year responded to the only run the Cardinals scored off Pirates starter A.J. Burnett, and left Lynn screaming on the mound.
Martin’s blast came on a pitch nearly identical to the one he hit off Friday’s starter Shelby Miller, a 90 mile-per-hour fastball left in a similar location.
“Up and away a little a bit,” Martin said. “I like the ball up there.”
Russell Martin hit a three-run home run in the third inning to propel the Pirates to a five-run inning, and ultimately a win. (Photo Credit: David Hague)
Lynn’s frustration continued when Jose Tabata legged out an infield single later that inning that bounced off Lynn’s glove, as the play ended with Lynn doubled over on the mound.
Lynn (13-9) was pulled after four innings, in which he allowed seven runs on 10 hits, walked three, and struck out four.
He never had a chance.
And after the third, neither did the Cardinals against a dominant outing from A.J. Burnett. Burnett (7-9) needed just 92 pitches to work through seven innings, in which he allowed just one run on four hits, walked one, and struck out six.
“Very professional outing. We didn’t get the result last time he was on the mound against them and he got some runs to work with,” Hurdle said. “He stayed aggressive, solid mix of all his pitches throughout the game.”
Pittsburgh (79-56) coasted to a 7-1 victory the rest of the way, and pulled a game ahead of the Cardinals (78-57) in NL Central. And, with 27 games still remaining in the 2013 season, tied their win total from the entirety of last year.
St. Louis scored in the third, as Kolten Wong led off with a single and made it to second on a hit-and-run that saw Daniel Descalso ground out. Carlos Beltran followed three batters later and singled Wong home.
“The third inning was the one challenge and he got out of that getting nicked with one run,” manager Clint Hurdle said. “Very professional outing for Alan James.”
At that point, though, the Bucs already led 2-0.
Pittsburgh struck first in the bottom of the second when Martin scored on a RBI single by none other than Burnett. The next batter, Tabata, also singled to score Clint Barmes from third.
“Big swing from Alan to get things going, from A.J. just to get things going,” Hurdle said. “Tabata stays inside of a ball and was able to push it that way, we were able to add on a run.”
The Pirates had a chance to put a lot more than two on the board in the second, but Andrew McCutchen struck out with the bases loaded to end the frame.
In response to the one run the Cardinals scored, the Pirates scored five. And from there, A.J. Burnett retired 12 of the final 13 batters he faced to corral his seventh win of the season.
“I was just able to get some quick outs here and there, and I made pitches when I needed to,” Burnett said. “It’s good hitter after good hitter in that lineup and you can’t let down. When you let down, that’s when they get you.”
While the early lead did not ease any pressure on Burnett, he kept the Cardinals on lockdown and faced only three batters in five of his seven innings.
“I’m just happy that I kept the lead this time,” Burnett said.
After Burnett exited, Vin Mazzaro worked two shutout innings and allowed two hits to put the finishing touches on the victory vaulting the Pirates into first place. Of course, even after clinching the advantage in the season series with the Cardinals, Burnett and the rest of his clubhouse keeps the steady approach.
“Every game’s important, no matter who play, especially right now,” Burnett said. “We’re making waves and we’ve got another game tomorrow that’s just as important.”
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
Garrett Jones wasn’t happy this week. While hitting .119 for the month of August entering last night’s game (courtesy of some atrocious luck on balls in play–.119 BABIP), manager Clint Hurdle gave his first baseman “a couple days down”. Jones did not start in the Milwaukee series, and received just one at-bat in a pinch-hit appearance Tuesday.
“At first, it’s frustrating...
PITTSBURGH -- Slumping Garrett Jones hit his 100th career homer and drove in four runs as the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the St. Louis 5-0 Friday night and moved into a tie with the Cardinals for the NL Central lead.
Jones had three hits and Russell Martin added his 12th homer of the season. Jose Tabata and Neil Walker got two hits as the Pirates moved within four victories of their...
Gregory Polanco has been promoted to Indianapolis.
The Pittsburgh Pirates have promoted top hitting prospect Gregory Polanco to Indianapolis, Cory Giger reports.
#AltoonaCurve OF Gregory Polanco, one of the #Pirates prized prospects, has been promoted to AAA Indy.
— Cory Giger (@CoryGiger) September 1, 2013
More to come.
TOP OF THE SYSTEM
A look at how the current top 20 prospects did today. Note that this list doesn’t include players currently in the majors. If a player is in the majors, he will be removed, everyone below him will be shifted up a spot, and a new player will be added to the bottom of the list. Rankings are from the mid-season rankings, and links on each name go to their Pirates...
Yesterday, the Pittsburgh Pirates sent Jason Grilli out for the start of his minor league rehab assignment. It is the final step before Grilli rejoins the club in time for the September stretch. There were concerns at times that Grilli may not be ready before the end of the year, so getting him some rehab action now is important.
Tom Singer of MLB.com says the plan for Grilli...
New Pirates OF Marlon Byrd celebrated his arrival to the NL Central pennant race with a three-run home run, two standing ovations and a curtain call in Pittsburgh's 7-1 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on August 28. He has three hits in 12 at bats. Thrust abruptly into the middle of a pennant race, Byrd told PiratesDugout.com's George Von Benko that he hopes to ignite the...
The Pittsburgh Pirates looking to make the playoffs for the first time since 1992 added another bat to their line-up acquiring Minnesota Twins first baseman Justin Morneau in a waiver trade according to multiple sources. Earlier this week, the Pirates acquired outfielder Marlon Byrd and catcher John Buck from the Mets.
Morneau has posted 221 home runs and 860 RBI over 11 years...
The St. Louis Cardinals have a long history of draft success, a key contributor to the club being a perennial contender. When a talent gap occurs, the team has not been hesitant to step into the free agent market when necessary.
Of course, trades are the most common method of trying to improve a club instantly. A proven major leaguer is added who helps spur the team to greater heights...
Source: FanGraphs For as good as the Pittsburgh Pirates have been this year, they are not fans of sweeping teams. Today marked the second time in a month that the Pirates had a chance to sweep the Cardinals and ended up getting blown out in the final game of the series. There wasn’t much of…
(Follow me on Twitter @jim_krug; opening image credit rackcdn)
Morneau eyeing up his opportunity; image credit gannett-cdn
The once-slumping Pittsburgh Pirates just curb-stomped division rival St. Louis for the second time in 2 nights, wrenching away the hotly contested NL Central top spot in the process. Players were seen embracing new arrival 1B Justin Morneau, acquired earlier...
Good morning. It is September 1st, 2013.
With last night's win, the Pirates are 79-56. Since 1992, the Pirates failed to win 79 games in the following seasons*: 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011.
Let's not mince words: 1999 is the year that ruined everything. The Pirates took a step...
The Pittsburgh Pirates today announced that they have acquired first baseman Justin Morneau from
the Minnesota Twins in exchange for outfielder Alex Presley and a player to be named or cash considerations.
With the news that the St. Louis Cardinals have acquired Brewers reliever John Axford, it’s the perfect time to check in with our friend Daniel Shoptaw of C70 At The Bat, and discern how the trade comes across from the Redbirds’ perspective.
The Brewers Bar: Axford has been a lightning rod for Brewers fans and Cardinals fans. Now that he'...
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