The Pirates were able to avoid a three game sweep to begin the shortened season, beating Dakota Hudson and the Cardinals 5-1 this afternoon.
Mitch Keller was able to keep the Cardinals hot bats quiet through his 5 innings today, allowing just one run. Keller wasn’t necessarily on, working three walks and only throwing 47 strikes on 87 pitches. But sometimes being effectively wild gets the job done in this game.
Hud was able to skate around three singles the first 3 frames. Yadi would give him some help in two of those innings, picking Frazier off with a snap throw in the 1st and catching Evans stealing 2B in the 2nd.
The Cards were able to get on the board first in the bottom half of the 3rd with two outs. KoWo would slap a two out single to LF, beating the shift, bringing up Tommy Edman. Edman then would tap an infield single to the right-side, beating Pirates pitcher, Mitch Keller to the bag. Wong showed some heads up base running, being able to score from 2B on the infield knock from Edman. Wong never hesitated and took home the split second Keller turned his back. An absolute clinic.
But then, after needing just 30 pitches to get through the first 3 frames, Hudson would get rocked around in the 4th inning after striking out the first two batters swinging (Reynolds & Bell). Moran would HR on a hanging slider to RF to even the game at 1-1.
Evans followed Moran with an infield single deep in the hole to DeJong. Osuna wasted no time bringing him in, driving his 1st HR of the season to deep CF (108mph exit velocity, 429 feet) to make it 3-1 Pittsburgh.
Hud would go back out for the 5th with nobody up and throwing in the pen yet and give up a leadoff double to Jacob Stallings. After getting González to ground out to Wong, Hud would walk leadoff man, Adam Frazier to complete his short afternoon (4.1 IP, 7 hits, 4 ER, walk, 4 k’s).
Gomber would relieve Hudson, walking Reynolds on four pitches upon coming in. Bell then drove in Stallings with a sac-fly to Thomas in CF, making it 4-1 Bucs.
Gomber worked a 1-2-3 6th on 12 pitches, ending his season debut with a clean 1.2IP.
Kodi Whitley made his big league debut in the top of the 7th, working a 1-2-3 inning against Stallings, González, and Frazier. Stallings would ground out to DeJong, González would fly out to Thomas, and Frazier would be the 1st major league strikeout for Whitley. Whitley would get Frazier swinging at a nice high heater on the outside at 94mph.
Miller and Fernández would make their season debuts, each throwing an inning in the 8th and 9th.
Miller would get hit with the final Pirates run of the game, walking Bell with one down and then allowing a two out double to Evans to make it 5-1.
Fernández was able to work a clean 1-2-3 on 12 pitches, getting some slick help from Tommy Edman to end the top of the 9th. Edman would dive to his left to take away a sure single from González to end the inning.
Nick Burdi ended any comeback chance the Cards had heading into the bottom of the 9th, striking out the middle of the order on just 11 pitches. Burdi was flashing an upper 90s heater with a sharp high 80s slider.
The Cardinals (2-1) have an off-day tomorrow as they’ll be traveling to Minnesota to take on the Twins (2-1) in a two-game set on Tuesday/Wednesday.
Carlos Martínez makes his season debut in game one, matching up with former Red and familiar NL Central foe, Homer Bailey. First pitch set for 7:10pm c/t.