Pirates hope to salvage finale vs. Cardinals

Local Sports

The St. Louis Cardinals will aim for their third series sweep of the season when they conclude a three-game road set against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday.

St. Louis has outscored the Pirates 19-8 in the first two games of a weekend series, including a 12-5 clobbering Saturday.

PNC Park has been hospitable to the Cardinals, who have won six in a row and 16 of their past 18 there.

Regardless of the Sunday outcome, the Pirates will have their streak of six non-losing series (4-0-2) snapped and will lose a series for the first time since they dropped their first two sets during a 1-6 start.

The Pittsburgh bullpen, a stalwart the past few weeks, has given up 11 runs in 7 2/3 innings through the first two games against St. Louis.

“They were really good throughout the month of April,” Pirates manager Derek Shelton said of his relievers. “That’s one of the things with bullpens — they can be really good and (then) they’re going to hit rough patches.

“We’ve just got to make sure we try to put guys in the right spots and we can get rolling again.”

If the Pirates could ask anything more of their starters, it might be to have, well, better starts. Early on, that is. Pittsburgh has given up 34 first-inning runs, the most in the major leagues.

The effect showed Saturday, when St. Louis took a 4-0 lead in the first, and the Pirates chased the game thereafter.

Cardinals shortstop Paul DeJong, who hit a three-run homer in the first Saturday, can see the confidence it gives pitchers when they are staked to a lead.

“They can attack the (strike zone) a lot more and really go at these guys,” DeJong said.

In the series finale, St. Louis right-hander Carlos Martinez (1-4, 4.76 ERA) is scheduled to face off against Pittsburgh right-hander Wil Crowe (0-0, 3.86 ERA).

Martinez seems to be building himself up for the meat of the season. On Tuesday, he pitched a season-high 7 1/3 innings in a win against the Philadelphia Phillies, giving up two runs, one earned, on two hits with two walks and four strikeouts.

The result also snapped a personal seven-game losing streak. It was his first win as a starter since July 7, 2018.

“I think the Tsunami is coming again,” Martinez said, using his nickname from earlier in his career when he was a two-time All-Star, before he ran into injuries and other trouble and spent a lot of time coming out of the bullpen.

In his past two outings, Martinez has thrown 13 1/3 innings, giving up six hits and three runs (two earned), with three walks and seven strikeouts.

“It’s just good to see him be Carlos,” St. Louis manager Mike Shildt said. “He’s got the reset button going.”

Against Pittsburgh, Martinez is 6-6 with a 3.59 ERA in 32 career appearances, including 13 starts.

Crowe, who has never faced St. Louis, will be making his second start and third appearance this season. It will be his fifth career start.

He made a relief appearance in the second game of the season before he was taken off the major league roster. Crowe was recalled on April 25 and started at Minnesota, where he gave up one run in four innings.

–Field Level Media

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Sports Video

More Sports Videos

video

More Video

 

 

Barnesville High School

Beallsville High School

Beaver Local High School

Bellaire High School

Bridgeport High School

Brooke High School

Buckeye Local High School

Buckeye Trail High School

Caldwell High School

Cambridge High School

Cameron High School

Clay-Battelle High School

Conotton Valley High School

East Liverpool High School

Edison High School

Fort Frye High School

Harrison Central High School

Hundred High School

Indian Creek High School

John Marshall High School

Linsly High School

Magnolia High School

Martins Ferry High School

Meadowbrook High School

Monroe Central High School

Morgantown High School

Oak Glen High School

Paden City High School

Parkersburg High School

Parkersburg Catholic High School

Parkersburg South High School

River High School

St. Clairsville High School

Shadyside High School

Shenandoah High School

Steubenville High School

Steubenville Catholic Central High School

Toronto High School

Tyler Consolidated High School

Union Local High School

University High School

Valley High School

Weir High School

Weirton Madonna High School

Wellsville High School

Wheeling Central High School

Wheeling Park High School

Don't Miss

Trending Stories

More Top News

WTRF 7News Twitter

12SportsZone Twitter