Marte’s 11th-inning single rallies Pirates over Cardinals
Starling Marte's game-ending single in the 11th inning lifted the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 6-5 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday night.
David Freese drew a one-out walk from rookie Jordan Hicks (1-1), advanced to second on a wild pitch, moved to third on Gregory Polanco's groundout. Marte then delivered a liner into center field, giving the Pirates their third victory in four games.
Cardinals closer Greg Holland started the ninth inning with a 5-2 lead, but failed to retire any of the batters he faced as his ERA rose to 7.11 in nine appearances. He was signed to a $14-million, one-year contract on opening day after tying for the NL lead with 41 saves last season with the Colorado Rockies. It was his first blown save with the Cardinals.
Corey Dickerson doubled and scored when first baseman Jose Martinez misplayed Colin Moran's groundball for an error. Jordy Mercer then doubled off the center-field fence to drive in a run. When Tommy Pham misplayed the ball for an error, pinch-runner Chad Kuhl scored the tying run and Mercer advanced to third.
Three relievers combined to keep Mercer stranded, sending the game to extra innings but the Cardinals wound up losing for just the third time in 13 games.
Francisco Cervelli had three of the Pirates' 10 hits and Polanco hit his sixth home run but first since April 12.
George Kontos (2-2) pitched one scoreless inning.
The Cardinals' Marcell Ozuna had two RBI singles among his three hits and Jedd Gyorko homered.
St. Louis starter Miles Mikolas was in line to raise his record to 4-0 after allowing two runs and six hits in seven innings with seven strikeouts and no walks before the Pirates rallied against Holland.
Pittsburgh starter Steven Brault gave up five runs (four earned) in 4 2/3 innings.
Polanco's home run led off the sixth and Dickerson added a sacrifice fly later in the inning to cut the Cardinals' lead to 5-2.
The Cardinals broke on top 5-0 as Gyorko's leadoff home run keyed a three-run third inning that included an RBI double by Pham and a run-scoring single by Ozuna. Kolten Wong hit a sacrifice fly in the fourth and Ozuna singled in a run an inning later.
Cardinals: LHP Ryan Sherriff (fractured right big toe) began a rehab assignment with Triple-A Memphis.
Pirates: RHP AJ Schugel (right shoulder discomfort) has pitched twice for Triple-A Indianapolis, giving up one run in 2 2/3 innings, since having his rehab assignment moved from Class A Bradenton.
KANG TO EXTENDED SPRING
Pirates INF Jung Ho Kang, who is on the restricted list, will begin working out Monday at extended spring training in Bradenton Florida. Kang has not played for the Pirates since 2016 as he was unable to obtain a work visa last year after being arrested in his native South Korea for DUI for a third time and receiving an eight-month suspended sentence.
The Cardinals optioned RHP John Gant to Memphis a day after he pitched three perfect innings to get the win in a 13-inning game with the New York Mets. RHP Mike Mayers was recalled from Memphis.
KINGHAM LIKELY TO DEBUT
Manager Clint Hurdle said the Pirates are planning to recall RHP Nick Kingham from Indianapolis to make a spot start Sunday. It would mark the major league debut for the 26-year-old.
TURN OF THE CENTURY
Phil Coyne, who retired as an usher just prior to opening day, was honored in a pre-game ceremony on his 100th birthday. Coyne began ushering in 1936 and the Pirates estimate he worked over 6,000 games at Forbes Field, Three Rivers Stadium and PNC Park.
St. Louis will recall RHP Jack Flaherty (0-0, 1.80 ERA) from Memphis to start Saturday night against RHP Trevor Williams (3-1, 2.15). Flaherty pitched for the Cardinals on April 3 at Milwaukee and allowed one run in five innings of a no-decision. Williams is 1-2 with an 8.15 ERA against the Cardinals in six career games.