Friday’s Game Report: Pirates 4, Cardinals 2 (10 innings)

Friday’s Game Report: Pirates 4, Cardinals 2 (10 innings)

By Rob Rains

The stage was set for a third consecutive walk-off win for the Cardinals on Friday night, but this time it wasn’t meant to be.

Tommy Edman reached second with one out in a 1-1 game in the ninth but was stranded there and the Pirates won the opener of a three-game series at Busch Stadium with three runs in the 10th.

Their winning rally included only one ball hit out of the infield, and that was a sacrifice fly, but the Pirates took advantage of three infield singles, one of which was originally scored an error, and a wild pitch to score their three runs.

The loss left the last-place Cardinals four games behind the Pirates in the NL Central, assuring that they will still be behind Pittsburgh when the weekend series is over. The Cardinals have been in last place for 118 of a possible 152 days so far this season.

Here is how Friday night’s game broke down:

At the plate: The Cardinals’ only run until the 10th came on a home run by Willson Contreras leading off the sixth inning, his 16th homer of the season … They had only four other hits until the ninth and left eight runners on base … Edman reached on an infield single in the ninth and took second on a throwing error, but Jordan Walker flew out and Masyn Winn lined to third to end the inning … Paul Goldschmidt’s sacrifice fly drove in their run in the 10th … The Cardinals were 0-of-8 with a runner in scoring position.

On the mound: Dakota Hudson held the Pirates to the one run on just three hits over his seven innings of work. He retired 14 batters on ground balls and did not strike out a batter. The Pirates’ only run scored in the second on a two-out walk and a double. Hudson retired 16 of the last 17 hitters he faced … The only other time in the last 10 years a Cardinals starter worked at least seven innings and did not have a strikeout was Adam Wainwright last year against the Cubs … JoJo Romero relieved to start the ninth and pitched out of a two-on, no-out jam, but wasn’t as lucky in the 10th.

Key stat: The second, third and fourth place hitters in the Cardinals lineup – Goldschmidt, Nolan Gorman and Nolan Arenado – were a combined 0-of-12 with six strikeouts and left five runners on base.

Worth noting: The Cardinals are just 3-8 against the Pirates this season with two head-to-head games remaining on the schedule … Lars Nootbaar was activated from the injured list and started in the leadoff spot but was held to a walk in five plate appearances … Ryan Helsley also came off the injured list and made his first appearance for the Cardinals since June 7. He worked a 1-2-3 eighth inning … Jake Woodford also was activated from the injured list, then optioned to Memphis.

Looking ahead: Drew Rom will make his third start for the Cardinals in Saturday’s game. The first pitch is scheduled for 6:15 p.m.

Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains

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