ST. LOUIS (AP)Yoshi Tsutsugo and Kevin Newman homered and Ke’Bryan Hayes added a two-run single, rallying the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 5-4 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday night.
”It’s awesome anytime you can get the first two games on someone’s home turf,” Hayes said. ”So regardless of our record, we go out there every day to play as hard as we can.”
Leadoff hitter Ben Gamel added three hits and a walk, and Jacob Stallings had two hits in the Pirates’ 12-hit attack.
Chasen Shreve (2-1) pitched to one batter in the sixth, striking out Matt Carpenter. David Bednar, the sixth Pirates hurler, gave up a leadoff single in the ninth, but got the next three batters to earn his first save.
”It’s definitely cool,” Bednar said. ”To get the first one out of the way is pretty special.”
Pittsburgh manager Derek Shelton was impressed.
”He did a nice job. To give the hit and then come back and get the 2-3-4 of their order out,” Shelton said. ”You now, they’re good hitters. I’m happy for him. He’s pitched really well for us. He just hasn’t pitched in the ninth.”
Genesis Cabrera (2-4) allowed three runs on four hits in the seventh to take the loss. Newman singled with one out. With two outs, Gamel singled and Hayes followed with a single, driving in both. He took second on the throw home. Bryan Reynolds was intentionally walked. Tsutsugo singled home Hayes, giving Pittsburgh a 5-3 lead. Reynolds was out at home trying to score on the play.
Chad Kuhl, who was reinstated from the COVID-19 list Friday, allowed three singles to start the seventh. Tyler O’Neill’s sacrifice fly scored a run before Kuhl struck out Molina and Lars Nootbaar to get out of the jam. Kuhl, who had started in 84 of his 86 previous MLB appearances, had not pitched since starting on July 29.
”He worked out of a tough situation there,” Shelton said. ”It’s a learning experience for him. The fact that he came in and executed his first time out of the bullpen was a positive sign.”
Pittsburgh has won back-to-back games after entering the series with just two wins in their previous 17 games.
”They don’t beat themselves,” St. Louis manager Mike Shildt said. ”They had good pitching and make big pitches in big situations. They played pretty good defense. We were not able to put anything together last night (Friday) and we had opportunities tonight but we couldn’t get the proverbial big hit.”
St. Louis scored twice in the sixth to take a 3-2 lead. Yadier Molina hit a one-out RBI single and, with two outs, Edmundo Sosa added a a run-scoring double off reliever Nick Mears.
Tsutsugo, a 29-year-old Japanese slugger who joined Pittsburgh on Aug. 16, hit his second home run in as many days when he smacked the first pitch of the fourth inning over the wall in center field, giving Pittsburgh a 2-1 lead.
”He had good swings again tonight,” Shelton said. ”He jumped on that first pitch in his first at-bat. He’s consistent. That’s good to see. He is playing well. It’s important for his profile to slug. So far with us, it shows he’s worked on his swing.”
The Cardinals tied it 1-1 on a two-out double to right field by Paul Goldschmidt after Tommy Edman had walked in the third.
Pittsburgh took a 1-0 lead on a leadoff home run by Newman in the third.
St. Louis entered the day 3 1/2 games behind Cincinnati and San Diego in the race for the second NL wild-card spot.
”They’ve beat us two nights in a row,” Goldschmidt said about the Pirates. ”They’ve played better than us and they got the wins.”
J.A. Happ was making his fourth start as a member of the Cardinals since he was acquired from the Twins. The 37-year-old Happ checked the Pirates on six hits and a walk with eight strikeouts over six innings.
In his second start of the season, Dillon Peters pitched five innings, allowing three hits and one run.
CARDINALS HALL OF FAME
The Cardinals Hall of Fame grew by four players Saturday with the inductions of Bill White, Keith Hernandez, Tom Herr, and John Tudor. All except White, who did not attend, were recognized as part of the pregame ceremony. Tudor, Herr and Hernandez entered the field riding in convertibles.
Pirates: RHP Sam Howard (right oblique strain) worked two scoreless innings (25 pitches/18 strikes) while making his second rehab appearance Friday night at Toledo with Triple-A Indianapolis.
Cardinals: LHP Kwang Hyun Kim played his first-ever game at the minor league level by pitching in his first rehab game at Triple-A Memphis. He threw 34 pitches. Depending on his recovery from the outing, the Cardinals will choose between another rehab outing or coming back to the team. … OF Dylan Carlson (right wrist sprain) has played catch on the field. He is expected to return for the Aug. 24 series opener against the Tigers.
Pirates: LHP Steven Brault (0-1, 1.84) will be making his fourth start of the season in the finale of this series. The 29-year-old Brault tossed 5 2/3 scoreless innings but had a no-decision in his last start, a 2-1 loss at Dodger Stadium on Monday night
Cardinals: Adam Wainwright (11-7, 3.26) is set to face the Pirates for the third time this season, and for the second time at Busch Stadium. He has a career-best eight-game win streak against the Pirates (July 7, 2016-present). His last loss to the Pirates was on April 3, 2016, in an Opening Day defeat.
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