ST. LOUIS, MO - MAY 1: Starter Charlie Morton #50 of the Pittsburgh Pirates reacts after giving up a run against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium on May 1, 2012 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
The Pirates scored nine runs on Monday, by far their most of the season. They scored seven on Tuesday, the second-most they've had this season, but still lost, thanks to a series of self-inflicted wounds and Cardinals homers.
The Cardinals got one in the first when Rafael Furcal doubled and then came home on a play in which Matt Holliday reached when Garrett Jones was charged with an error on a throw to first. (Jones appeared to catch the ball but drop it as he tried to get it out of his glove, so that particular error looked like a blown call.) But the Bucs took a 2-1 lead in the third on a two-run blast by Jose Tabata, his first of the year.
The Cardinals tied the game in the fourth when Clint Barmes failed to field a grounder by Adam Wainwright, then scored four the following inning on a backbreaking three-run homer by David Freese and then (after Tabata lost track of a ball in right) an RBI single by Allen Craig. They added another in the sixth when Holliday somehow took the newly-recalled Jared Hughes deep on a very low fastball in an 0-1 count. That made it 7-2, Cardinals.
After Neil Walker got on base in the seventh, Pedro Alvarez hit his sixth homer of the year when he blasted a hanging Wainwright cut fastball to right. The Cards got three back in the bottom of the inning, however. Yadier Molina reached base on an Alvarez error and eventually came home on a throwing error by Rod Barajas. Furcal then hit a two-run homer later in the inning -- it sounded like he didn't get all of it, but it somehow ended up in the second row of seats in left.
The Pirates weren't done -- in the eighth, they mounted a two-out rally when Tabata and Andrew McCutchen walked and each moved up a base on a wild pitch, and Garrett Jones knocked them both in with a single. Jones came home later in the inning on a single by Alvarez. Ultimately, though, it's tough to recover from a 10-4 deficit, even when you're a good offensive team ... which the Pirates certainly were, at least for tonight.