Tuesday’s Game Report: Cardinals 4, Pirates 1

Tuesday’s Game Report: Cardinals 4, Pirates 1

By Rob Rains

J.A. Happ has been a member of the Cardinals for just 12 days, not enough time for him to know much about the team’s recent dominance of the Pirates in Pittsburgh.

He just made certain it lasted at least one more day.

Happ, making his second start since being acquired at the trade deadline, allowed just one hit over six innings Tuesday night to extend the Cardinals wining streak at PNC Park to eight consecutive games.

Dating back to Aug. 4, 2018, the Cardinals have won 18 of their last 20 games in Pittsburgh.

The only hit for the Pirates was the first career homer by Hoy Park leading off the fourth inning. It was the fewest hits allowed by the Cardinals in a regular-season game in Pittsburgh since Bob Gibson’s no-hitter on Aug. 14, 1971. Michael Wacha and two relievers held the Pirates to one hit in a Division Series game in 2013.

The last time the Cardinals gave up a home run as an opponent’s only hit of the game was Jim Thome’s homer off Anthony Reyes on June 22, 2006 in a 1-0 win for the White Sox.

The Cardinals got a leadoff homer from Tommy Edman in the first and a home run from Paul DeJong in the second to support Happ’s strong start.

Here is how Tuesday night’s game broke down:

At the plate: Edman, moved back to the leadoff spot with a lefthander starting for the Pirates, hit the fourth pitch of the game for his seventh homer … DeJong’s homer was his 15th of the season … Dylan Carlson, hitting second, had three hits and scored in the sixth when the Cardinals picked up two insurance runs … Edmundo Sosa just missed a home run following DeJong’s homer in the second, hitting a ball off the top of the center field wall that went for a triple.

On the mound: Happ retired 17 of the 20 hitters he faced, giving up two walks in addition to the home run. He struck out five, and threw 13 first-pitch strikes, needing just 86 pitches to pick up his first Cardinals win and his first win this season since July 8 when he was with the Twins. One of his other wins for Minnesota was against the Pirates on April 23, when he allowed only one hit in 7 1/3 shutout innings in the game at Minnesota …Ryan Helsley allowed the Pirates only other baserunner on a two out walk in the seventh. Genesis Cabrera retired all four hitters he faced before Alex Reyes worked a 1-2-3 ninth for his 26th save.

Key stat: The eight consecutive wins matches the second longest winning streak for the Cardinals in Pittsburgh. They also won eight in a row between 2000 and 2001. The franchise record is an 18-game winning streak between 1964 and 1966.

Worth noting: Tyler O’Neill was in the original lineup but was scratched because he was experiencing side effects after getting his second COVID shot, according to manager Mike Shildt … The Double A Springfield Cardinals placed six players on the injured list on Tuesday, apparently because of COVID concerns, but it wasn’t announced whether there had been positive tests or if it was a case of contact tracing. The team did play its scheduled game at Arkansas … Jack Flaherty will rejoin the rotation on Friday night at Kansas City, allowing him to make his first start without having to worry about batting, which is how he tore his oblique on May 30. He will slide into the spot vacated by Kwang Hyun Kim, who on Monday was placed on the injured list because of a sore elbow … Miles Mikolas, who gave up 11 hits and seven runs in 5 2/3 innings in a start on Sunday night at Springfield, will make one more start in the minors, location and date to be determined … The Class A Palm Beach Cardinals saw their losing streak reach 18 consecutive games on Tuesday night. Their last win came on July 16. Since then they also have had eight games rained out.

Looking ahead: Adam Wainwright will get the start on Wednesday night in the second game of the series.

Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains

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For the latest news and features in St. Louis Sports check out STLSportsPage.com. Rob Rains, Editor.