St. Louis Cardinals MLB Game Recap – Friday, July 24, 2020

Friday, July 24 – Cardinals 5, Pirates 4

In the Opening Night game of the 60-game season. the St. Louis Cardinals took on the Pittsburgh Pirates in the first contest of a three-game series.  Pitcher Jack Flaherty got the start.

Flaherty pitched seven innings and was masterful from the start.  The right hander went scoreless for the first six innings, never needing more than 12 pitches per three outs, but in the seventh, he faltered a little.  Flaherty allowed two hits in the fourth inning, both singles, but allowed no runs.  He kept the game scoreless until the seventh, when four more singles resulted in two runs.  He left the game after the seventh having allowed two runs on six hits, and no walks.  The righty and eventual winning pitcher fanned six.

Jack Flaherty

Flaherty was relieved in the eighth by Ryan Helsley, who retired all three batters faced.  In the ninth, new closer Kwang-Hyun Kim made his St. Louis debut.  Kim’s start was shaky, but he recovered.  An error by third sacker Tommy Edman put the first runner on, and the left-hander gave up a double and single to score two runs and reduce the lead to 5-4.  With the game on the line, Kim rebounded to retire the next batter and induced a double play to end the game and give the win to the Redbirds.

St. Louis’ offense was held scoreless for the first two innings by Pirates starter Joe Musgrove, who went on to absorb the loss.  In the third, left fielder Tyler O’Neill’s solo bomb to left center field put the Redbirds on top.  In the fifth, right fielder Dexter Fowler matched O’Neill with a solo shot to right field to increase the lead to 2-0.

Paul Goldschmidt singled on a line drive to left field in the sixth, and Paul DeJong followed with a walk.  After Matt Carpenter grounded into a force out which took DeJong off the bases, Yadier Molina singled on a line drive to left to plate Goldschmidt. The score was then at 3-0 in favor of St. Louis.

After the Pirates got on the board with two runs in the seventh, the home eighth began with a second single by Goldschmidt.  DeJong followed with a two-run home run to left center field to give the Cardinals a 5-2 cushion.  The Pirates pulled closer in the ninth, but the Redbirds prevailed.

The offensive effort was led by Goldschmidt, who went 2-for-3 and Kolten Wong, who was 2-for-4.  DeJong, Fowler, and O’Neill contributed with the long ball.  Molina was 1-for-3 with an RBI.

Edman had a tough night with an error at third base.  He also was caught stealing after singling in the third inning and struck out twice.

Saturday’s game: 1:15 p.m. vs. Pittsburgh Pirates
RHP Adam Wainwright (14-10, 4.19 in 2019) vs. RHP Trevor Williams (7-9, 5.38 in 2019)

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