Sunday’s Game Report: Cardinals 5, Pirates 4 (10 innings)

Sunday’s Game Report: Cardinals 5, Pirates 4 (10 innings)

By Rob Rains

As Tommy Edman came to bat in the 10th inning on Sunday, the Cardinals had one hit this season with the bases loaded.

That was one more hit than Edman had so far with a runner in scoring position.

Edman changed those numbers, and gave the Cardinals a much-needed win, with one swing of the bat.

His single past second base drove in the second run of the inning and allowed the Cardinals to earn a split of their four-game series against the Pirates at Busch Stadium.

Edman had a chance earlier in the game, in the fourth inning, with the bases loaded but grounded into a pitcher-to-home to first double play.

That left him hitless in 14 at-bats with a runner in scoring position. Prior to his game-winning single the Cardinals were 1-of-16 with the bases loaded, including Jordan Walker being retired twice in that spot on Sunday, once in the eighth inning and directly in front of Edman in the 10th.

Here is how Sunday’s game broke down:

At the plate: The Cardinals got a run in the first inning on a two-out walk to Paul Goldschmidt and singles by Nolan Arenado and Willson Contreras … Lars Nootbaar tied the game at 3-3 with a two-run, two-out homer in the sixth following a double by Contreras … A single by Goldschmidt and double by Arenado put runners on second and third with no outs in the eighth but Contreras and Nolan Gorman struck out before Nootbaar was intentionally walked and Walker struck out … After the Pirates scored in the top of the 10th, Contreras walked with one out and Gorman drove in the tying run with a ground-rule double. Nootbaar was intentionally walked again and Walker struck out in front of Edman, who delivered the third walkoff hit of his career.

On the mound: Miles Mikolas was pulled after 5 2/3 innings and 92 pitches with the Cardinals losing 2-1, two runners on base and the eighth-place hitter coming up to bat … An error by Brendan Donovan allowed one of those runners to score off Andre Pallante before he got out of the inning … Zack Thompson bailed out Pallante in the seventh, stranding the bases loaded, and needed only seven pitches to record four outs … Giovanny Gallegos worked a perfect ninth before Drew VerHagen gave up the run in the 10th despite getting three consecutive groundball outs.

Key stat: The win was the first extra-inning, walkoff win for the Cardinals over the Pirates since May 3, 2015, when they won in that fashion for the third consecutive game.

Worth noting: Manager Oli Marmol had a long conversation on Sunday morning with struggling reliever Jordan Hicks. “We need to figure out a way for him to be more effective and usable,” Marmol said. “We’ve got to figure out a way to get him right in a real setting, which is not the easiest thing to do, but it’s the task at hand.” Because of his career service time, Hicks cannot be optioned to the minor leagues without his consent, so the team is going to try to use him in low-leverage situations if possible for the time being … Alec Burleson had to leave the game after fouling a ball off his right shin in the third inning, suffering a contusion. His status was said to be day-to-day … Adam Wainwright likely will start on Wednesday night in Springfield in hopes that moving the scheduled start back a day from the original plan will allow him to throw more pitches and perhaps result in him only needing one start in the minors before he will be ready to return to the rotation.

Looking ahead: The Cardinals will open a three-game series against the Diamondbacks on Monday night at Busch Stadium. Jack Flaherty is the scheduled starter.

Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains

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