PITTSBURGH- 29, 161 fans at PNC Park witnessed The Pittsburgh Pirates (30-27) secure their second series win in a row after a 4-3 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals (25-34) Saturday evening.
The Pirates and Cardinals fought back and forth for control, but the sixth inning is where the Pirates pulled away and secured their fourth win in a row.
Mark Mathias got the inning started after reaching base safely after a costly Nolan Arenado error, which gave the Pirates the go-ahead to sub in Ji-Hwan Bae for Mathias.
Jason Delay bunted Bae over to second, and then Bryan Reynolds drew a two-out walk after an Andrew McCutchen ground out.
In a 3-2 count, Connor Joe belted a 105 mph double to left field, scoring both Reynolds and Bae easily to give the Pirates the lead for good at 3-1.
Carlos Santana didn’t waste any time after Joe when he was first pitching swinging, and he blooped an RBI single to left field, allowing Joe to score. The Pirates led 4-1.
The Cardinals drew first blood in Saturday’s contest.
Wilson Contreras came up to the plate in the second inning with nine homers against the Pirates in his career. On an 0-1 count, Contreras took an outside slider from Luis Ortiz to right-center field for his tenth career homer against the Pirates.
The Cardinals led 1-0 after two innings of play.
After a one-hour rain delay, the Pirates would trail the Cardinals until Ke’bryan Hayes belted a solo homer to left field in the fifth inning off of a Montgomery curveball down and in.
Hayes’ homer registered at 102.6 mph, 402 feet, with a 33-degree launch angle. The Pirates and Cardinals were tied through five.
In addition, Hayes has now hit a home run in back-to-back games in the same season for the first time in his career. Hayes did hit a homer in the last game of the 2020 season and then in the opener for 2021.
Angel Perdomo pitched a really good game in his Pirates’ debut Saturday evening. Perdomo faced seven Cardinals’ batters and retired all seven while striking out three in the process.
In addition, with Perdomo making his Pirates’ debut, he becomes tied for the second tallest Pirates pitcher since the data became available.
Perdomo is 6 foot 8.
Yerry De Los Santos made his season debut as well when he came in for Perdomo in the fifth inning. De Los Santos allowed just one base runner with a walk in 0.2 innings of work.
What probably was the biggest moment for the Pirates was in the top of the sixth inning when Dauri Moreta preserved the tie game with runners on first and second and just one out.
Moreta induced a weakly hit fly ball by Arenado to left field and then got a huge strikeout to Contreras after falling behind 3-2 in the count.
Things got a little hairy for the Pirates in the eighth inning when Colin Holderman allowed a two-run homer to Nolan Gorman, which cut the Pirates’ lead to 4-3.
David Bednar came in the ninth and shut things down, leaving no doubt.
The Pirates will go for the sweep Sunday morning when Rich Hill takes the mound against Mile Mikolas.