photo: Kodi Whitley via Zoom (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)
Sunday, July 26, 2020 – Cardinals 1 vs. Pittsburgh 5
The St. Louis Cardinals came up short in their quest for their first series sweep, instead falling to the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday afternoon at Busch Stadium, 5-1.
Dakota Hudson (L, 0-1) lasted just 4 1/3 frames in his season debut, yielding four runs on seven hits and a free pass. The right-hander held the Bucs scoreless through three, aided by two vintage defensive plays by Yadier Molina. After Hudson gave up a single to his first batter faced, the Cardinals’ leader picked the runner off first, preserving a 1-2-3 inning. St Louis’ starter permitted a one-out single the next stanza but Molina again came through, nailing the runner in an attempted steal of second base.
In the home half of the third, St. Louis scrapped together its sole tally, utilizing speed and aggressive baserunning. Tommy Edman strode to the plate with two gone and Kolten Wong on second. The third baseman won a footrace with Pirates’ starter Mitch Keller (W, 1-0) for an infield single. Meanwhile, Wong (single, wild pitch) raced home ahead of Keller’s throw.
The 1-0 lead was short-lived, however, as Hudson’s elevated pitches generated two home runs producing three scores and a 3-1 deficit. All three fourth-inning baserunners came after the 25-year-old recorded the last two of his four strikeouts.
Hudson retired his final batter after giving up a lead-off double to open the fifth. A base-on-balls put two aboard, bringing Austin Gomber into the game. The lefty went 1 2/3 frames, walking his first batter and allowing one of Hudson’s two runners to cross the plate.
A bright spot in the contest was the Major League debut of Kodi Whitley. The tall righty tossed a clean seventh via a 6-3 groundout, liner to center and swinging K.
Andrew Miller and Junior Fernandez each went an inning. Miller permitting a free pass and RBI double. Fernandez faced the minimum in the ninth.
The offense just did not get on track. Edman’s single was one of five Cardinals’ hits, one each produced by five players. Shortstop Paul DeJong reached base twice, doubling once in three at bats with a base-on-balls.
Monday’s game: Off for travel.
Tuesday’s game: 7:10 p.m. at Minnesota Twins, RHP Carlos Martínez (4-2, 3.17 in 2019) vs. RHP Homer Bailey (13-9, 4.57 in 2019) (season debuts), FS Midwest // KMOX
Check out summaries of pre- and post-game comments from Mike Shildt and key Cardinals players located in the daily game threads at The Cardinal Nation’s free message board. While you are there, join the talk with other Cardinals fans.
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