photo: Tyler O’Neill via Zoom (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)
In an unusual contest in Pittsburgh on Saturday night, the St. Louis Cardinals were the victors in a one-run game against the Pirates in the fourth of the five-game series. It began with the Cardinals being no-hit by Pirates starter Mitch Keller through the first six innings. Keller had recently returned from the injured list and was on a pitch count for the evening. Following six no-hit innings, Keller was removed after 84 pitches with a 4-0 lead over St. Louis.
In the seventh, the tide turned dramatically in the Cardinals’ favor against the Pirates bullpen. With Pittsburgh reliever Geoff Hartlieb on the mound, Brad Miller and Paul DeJong walked. Yadier Molina was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Hartlieb was replaced by left hander Sam Howard.
Tyler O’Neill smacked a double to left field to break up the no-hitter and the shutout. Miller and DeJong scored to make it 4-2. Dylan Carlson’s sac fly to right plated Molina and it was 4-3. Harrison Bader was the second Cardinal hit by a pitch in the inning.
Kolten Wong, after several failed bunt attempts, singled to right and O’Neill scored to tie the game. Tommy Edman singled on a ground ball to left as Harrison Bader scored what ultimately was the winning run from second base standing up.
The Redbirds scored their five runs from only three hits, with the only extra base hit O’Neill’s double. Two walks and two hit-by-pitches were essentially the catalyst for the five-run inning.
St. Louis’ starter was Kwang-Hyun Kim. Kim had recently been activated from the injured list, but unlike Mitch Keller, was not on a pitch count. He came into this start with an ERA of 0.63 but yielded four runs on six hits in 5 1/3 innings pitched, as his ERA rose to 1.59. The lefty tossed 103 pitches, 68 for strikes, fanned four and issued one walk. His nemesis was two long balls, both solo shots.
Jake Woodford relieved with one out in the sixth and pitched a scoreless 2/3 innings, retiring both batters he faced. Ryan Helsley added 1 1/3 scoreless innings, and Genesis Cabrera closed it out with 1 2/3 scoreless frames. Woodford earned the win, his first as a major leaguer, while Cabrera earned his first save.
DeJong committed a throwing error, his third error of the week and fourth of the season.
The win put the Cardinals back at second place in the NL Central. The Cubs lost to the Twins 8-1 and the Reds lost to the White Sox 7-1. The Cardinals are now 4.5 games back of the Cubs and one game up on the Reds and Brewers, who are tied for third place.
Sunday’s game: vs. Pirates at 3:05 pm. Jack Flaherty (3-2, 5.52) vs. Joe Musgrove (0-5, 5.74), FOX Sports Midwest/KMOX
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