The Pirates entered Tuesday losers of five in a row and seven of eight since the calendar flipped to August. Their struggles continued after only amassing one hit in a 4-1 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals, extending their losing streak to six games.
Steven Brault made his second start of the season for the Pirates. After giving up a pair of solo home runs in the first two innings, Brault settled in, blanking the Cardinals over the next three. In all, Brault went five innings, allowed two earned runs on five hits and struck out six. He did not walk a a batter and threw 55 of his 78 pitches for strikes.
Tommy Edman gave the Cardinals a 1-0 lead four pitches into the game thanks to a leadoff homerun out to left. Paul DeJong followed the next inning with a solo shot of his own, giving St. Louis a 2-0 advantage.
After the Pirates went nine up, nine down in the first three innings against Cardinals’ starter J.A. Happ, Hoy Park led off the home half of the fourth with his first career homer.
📍Hoy Park pic.twitter.com/9iyvyd8XL7
— Pittsburgh Pirates (@Pirates) August 11, 2021
The Park homer was the only blemish against Happ who went six strong, allowing only one run and one hit. Happ picked up his first win as a Cardinal after being acquired from Minnesota during the trade deadline.
After Dylan Carlson and Nolan Arenado reached, a Kevin Newman error cost the Pirates a run in the sixth. Harrison Bader followed with an RBI bloop-single off of Kyle Keller, extending the Red Birds’ lead to 4-1.
That is all the Cardinals needed as the Pirates bats could not get anything going for most of the night. Alex Reyes picked up his 26th save of the season, sealing the victory for St. Louis.
Wil Crowe (3-6, 5.47 ERA) will be up against Adam Wainwright (10-6, 3.48 ERA) tomorrow night. First pitch: 7:05.
Stat of the Game:
- Since the start of the 2020 season, Steven Brault has a 2.61 ERA over his 12 starts in that span. He was tagged with four earned runs without recording an out in a relief appearance against the Tigers.
- Hoy Homers: Park, acquired in the Clay Holmes trade, hit his first Major League homerun. He has been a welcome edition to the Pirates lineup, going 10-for-28 with four doubles and a homer in eight games to begin his Pirates’ career.
- Central Struggles: With the loss, the Pirates fell to 12-36 vs. their division foes in 2021.
- Not HAPPening: J.A. Happ, who entered play with a 6.62 ERA, has limited the Pirates to one run on just two hits in his two starts against them this season (13.1ip).
- Duane UnderGood: Duane Underwood Jr. has been solid in his last four outings: 8ip 3 H 1 ER 2 BB 5 K.