Saturday’s Game Report: Cardinals 13, Pirates 3
By Rob Rains
For several Cardinals, these last few games of the season are their opportunity to show why they are deserving on a spot on the postseason roster.
Corey Dickerson and Alec Burleson made their case in the first two innings on Saturday night.
Dickerson hit a grand slam in a six-run first inning and Burleson contributed a two-run single in the second as the Cardinals rolled to the win over the Pirates at Busch Stadium.
Dickerson came into the game with just two hits, and no RBIs, in his previous 33 at-bats. He later reached on an infield single and walked, while Burleson also drew a pair of walks.
Here is how the game broke down:
At the plate: The Cardinals sent a combined 17 batters to the plate in the first two innings and scored 10 runs before they committed their sixth out … Included in the big first inning was a bases-loaded single by Albert Pujols that drove in two runs … Every Cardinal reached base by either a hit or walk in the first two innings except Yadier Molina and Paul DeJong, the eighth and ninth-place hitters … The Cardinals did not get another hit until Lars Nootbaar doubled with one out in the eighth and Dylan Carlson followed with a two-run single. Carlson later scored on a Pittsburgh error … DeJong was 0-of-4 and struck out twice.
On the mound: Jordan Montgomery allowed four hits over six innings as he broke his personal three-game losing streak. The Pirates bunched three of those hits in the second inning, scoring twice. Montgomery walked one and struck out five … The other Pittsburgh run scored off Steven Matz in the eighth, after he had worked a 1-2-3 seventh.
Key stat: The two RBIs for Pujols increased his career total to 2,211, just three behind Babe Ruth for second place on the career list, trailing Hank Aaron.
Worth noting: The six-run first was the biggest first inning of the season for the Cardinals … Their last grand slam in the first inning was hit by Matt Carpenter on Aug. 19, 2020 at Chicago. The last time it happened at home was in 2018, when Marcell Ozuna did it twice … Jordan Hicks will throw another bullpen session on Sunday and is expected to accompany the team to Pittsburgh with the hope that he can pitch in one of the final games on the regular season on Tuesday or Wednesday, at which time a decision will be made about whether he will be on the roster for the wild-card series.
Looking ahead: Adam Wainwright will get the start on Sunday in the final home game of the regular season. A special pre-game ceremony honoring Pujols and Molina is set to begin at 12:30 with the game’s first pitch scheduled for 1:25 p.m.
Follow Rob Rains on Twitter@RobRains