PITTSBURGH– The Pittsburgh Pirates drop the rubber match on Sunday, thanks to Albert Pujols’ two-run homer in the top of the ninth for a 4-3 St Louis Cardinals victory.
Everything was all in order entering the top of the ninth inning for the Pirates, and then chaos ensued.
Tommy Edman led off the inning against Chase De Jong with a double.
Corey Dickerson followed with a double, making it a 2-1 Pirates lead.
With Pujols at the plate, he hammered a 2-0 count for his 697th career home run putting the Cardinals on top 3-2 in the blink of an eye.
To add salt to the Pirates’ wounds, Tyler O’Neil hit his 14th homer of the season for an insurmountable 4-2 Cardinals’ lead.
Greg Allen attempted the comeback with a bottom of the ninth solo homer, but the Pirates fell short by a score of 4-3.
The Pirates welcomed their old friend Jose Quintana back to Pittsburgh, and for the most part, Quintana handled the Pirates lineup except for a few hiccups.
One of those hiccups started with Greg Allen, in the bottom of the third inning, with the Pirates’ first hit of the ball game.
Allen then stole second base without a throw, as Yadier Molina bobbled the ball, which gave way to a Jason Delay single, placing runners on the corners with no outs.
Oneil Cruz hustled down the line after a ground ball to allow just one out while Allen advanced home to make it a 1-0 Pirates lead.
Mitch Keller looked like a man on a mission Sunday afternoon going seven strong innings against the Cardinals, who are tied as the third highest scoring team in baseball with the Mets.
Keller was efficient, despite walking three batters. Keller limited the base hits to just two and didn’t allow that many hard-hit balls.
Keller decided to use his curveball (31%) and four-seamer (30%) as his primary pitches while incorporating his sinker (25%).
“It was just one of those days where everything was working and I felt good,” said Keller during the post-game. “Every spin pitch I had was working really good. My four-seam and two-seam played really well. When you can get a good pitch mix going, it’s going to be a good day.”
Jack Suwinski continued to show off his power in the bottom of the seventh inning with his 16th home run on the season, giving the Pirates a 2-0 lead.
Suwinski’s homer went 382 feet with an exit velocity of 100.7.
The Cardinals have now won or tied a series against the Pirates at PNC Park 11-straight times.