Rookie right fielder Cal Mitchell played hero for the Pirates on Tuesday night, even in a 9-1 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals.
Cardinals starter Miles Mikolas went 8.2 innings, striking out six. He allowed just one hit, a ground rule double by Mitchell with two outs in the ninth that slammed the door shut on a chance at history.
Shortstop Tommy Edman gave St. Louis a 1-0 lead on the first pitch Bryse Wilson threw, pulling a fastball over the right field wall.
First baseman Paul Goldschmidt tee’d off of Wilson in each of the first two innings, hitting a two-run blast in the first and a three-run blast in the second, sandwiching an RBI single by third baseman Brendan Donovan. The home runs gave Goldschmidt three on the day, and four in the series against the Pirates, as St. Louis opened a 7-0 lead.
Wilson managed to get through five without allowing another run, but the damage was already done.
Center fielder Bryan Reynolds took second base to lead off the fourth, aided by a fielding error in left by rookie Juan Yepez. Right fielder Jack Suwinski moved him over, and designated hitter Daniel Vogelbach drove him in on a pair of groundouts.
Donovan and Goldschmidt hit back-to-back singles with two outs in the sixth against left-handed reliever Anthony Banda, and second baseman Nolan Gorman drove them in with a double that made it 9-1.
Mitchell’s double broke up the no-hit bid on Mikolas’ 129th—and final—pitch of the game as the ball carried just over the outstretched glove of center fielder Harrison Bader.
Packy Naughton entered to record the final out, and forced a groundout from Suwinski.
The loss, Pittsburgh’s ninth in a row, puts them at 24-37 on the season.
Roansy Contreras (1-1, 2.57 ERA) will take the mound at 7:45pm EDT against Cardinals’ ace Jack Flaherty, who is making his season debut, as the Pirates try to avoid the sweep on Wednesday, June 15.