The Pirates halted its four game losing streak and continued the team’s strong start against the Cardinals with a 4-2 victory in Busch Stadium. Jung Ho Kang lead the Pirates with two home runs and three RBIs.
- Francisco Liriano‘s strikeout pitch was on from the beginning tonight as he started out the game striking out the side. Liriano ended up fanning 10 Cardinals. Frankie seems to have the Cardinals number so far this season, striking out 20 red birds through 11 innings. Liriano has recorded 29 strikeouts on the year.
- After missing the first 28 games, Kang was back at manning the hot corner for the Pirates in the first game of the series against St. Louis. Manager Clint Hurdle said he wanted to ease Kang back into the game, however, Kang came up to the plate with runners in scoring position in his first three at bats. Kang was less than stellar in the first two at bats in which he grounded into a 5-4-3 double play and blooped into an infield fly with the bases loaded. He came up big in the sixth inning after Francisco Cervelli was called out on strikes, Kang swung at his third straight first pitch and drove it into the left field bullpen. Kang followed up his first home run of the year with yet another long ball that traveled 427 feet. It was evident that Kang was hunting fastballs due to the fact that each ball he put in play was of the fastball variety.
- The Pirates loaded the bases in the fourth inning before they recorded an out. Instead of capitalizing on the opportunity, the Pirates proceeded to record three straight outs without scoring a run. Carlos Martinez started the inning, but he was relieved by Tyler Lyons due to “fatigue.” Lyons deceptiveness in his delivery threw the Pirates for a loop and made them leave the bases loaded.
- Liriano was cruising through thegame until the seventh inning where the Cardinals were able to get some traffic on the bases and capitalized on it. Kang made a spetacular stop at third only to be milliseconds late on his throw to second base. This was followed by a Liriano wild pitch that bounced so far away, that both runners moved up two bases. The play at the plate the followed the wild pitch was close, however a spetacular slide by Randal Grichuck fooled Liriano. Ruben Tejada followed with a sacrifice fly to score the second run of the inning.
W- Francisco Liriano (3-1)
L- Carlos Martinez (4-2)
S- Mark Melancon (8)
Line of the night- After batting .140 in his Triple A rehab stint while goin g0-11 with runners in scoring position, Kang went 2-4 with two home runs and three RBIs in his first game back in The Show.
Up Next- The Pirates and Cardinals will continue this weekend series with an afternoon game at Busch Stadium. Jeff Locke will be tossing the pebble for the Pirates as Cardinals “Ace” Adam Wainwright will oppose him. Locke is 1-2 and is coming off of a solid outing with one bad inning against the Reds. Locke looks to build off of the seven innings in which he gave up three runs on four hits. Wainwright is coming off of a similar outing against the Phillies in which he gave up three runs on five hits over six innings. First pitch in St. Louis will be at 2:15