Wednesday’s Game Report: Cardinals 6, Pirates 4; plus Oliver Marmol postgame interview 8-23-23

Wednesday’s Game Report: Cardinals 6, Pirates 4

By Rob Rains

The Cardinals are going to use the rest of this season to give opportunities to players who could be candidates for a role on the team in 2024.

Two of the players getting that chance, Zack Thompson and Richie Palacios, want to make the most of it – just like they did on Wednesday.

Thompson, who moved into the starting rotation because of an injury to Steven Matz, allowed two runs over five innings and picked up the victory as the Cardinals won for the first time this season in Pittsburgh.

One of the offensive stars was Palacios, called up from Memphis and playing because of injuries to Lars Nootbaar and Dylan Carlson. He had three hits, one of which was  a bases-loaded double in the first inning that drove in two runs.

The Cardinals had been 0-5 in Pittsburgh and had lost six of their previous seven games.

Here is how Wednesday’s game broke down:

At the plate: The Cardinals jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning and added two more runs in the second, taking advantage of four walks, three of whom came around to score. The two runs in the second came on a double from Nolan Arenado following two of the walks …The Cardinals could not add on to their lead until the ninth, when a groundout by Masyn Winn drove in their sixth run, failing to capitalize on numerous other chances. They drew nine walks in the game and had 10 hits but were 3-of-12 with a runner in scoring position and left 13 runners on base.

On the mound: Thompson scattered six hits over his five innings, walking one and striking out five. He had lost his first two starts this season despite allowing only three runs over nine combined innings … The Pirates cut the deficit to 5-3 with a run off Andre Pallante in the sixth and added their final run in the ninth on a double by Connor Joe off JoJo Romero, who pitched the final two innings and earned the save.

Key stat: The three runs in the first inning were the first runs the Cardinals had scored in the opening inning on the road since July 24 in Arizona, breaking a nine-game streak. They had been a combined 3-of-28 in the first inning in those nine games.

Worth noting: Palacios was 5-of-9 in the three games, plus reached on a walk, hit his first career homer and drove in three runs. His older brother Joshua, playing for the Pirates, was just 2-of-13 but one of the hits was a three-run homer and he had five RBIs in the series … Nolan Gorman is eligible to come off the injured list on Friday and Nootbaar’s return could come on Sunday … Wednesday’s game was interrupted by a 1:32 minute rain delay in the top of the sixth inning.

Looking ahead: After a day off on Thursday, the Cardinals will play the Phillies for the first time this season on Friday night in Philadelphia in the opener of a three-game series. Miles Mikolas is the scheduled starter.

Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains


Oliver Marmol postgame interview from Wednesday:

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