Edinson Volquez, Pirates dominate Cardinals, 9-1

Dilip Vishwanat

Edinson Volquez pitched a complete game as the Pirates crushed the Cardinals Thursday, 9-1. After a series that featured two walk-off losses, it's nice to have an easy game that prevents the bullpen from getting involved.

The game was tied at one in the fifth when Jordy Mercer walked and moved up on a sacrifice. Gregory Polanco then walked, and Mercer moved up on a fly ball. Andrew McCutchen brought Mercer home on a single, and then Neil Walker plated two more runners on a double that got past Oscar Taveras in right field.

Tyler Lyons took over for Shelby Miller in the sixth, and the Pirates' offense didn't let up. Well, it sort of did, but the scoring didn't. Pedro Alvarez hit an infield single, then moved up to second as Mercer reached on Lyons' throwing error. Then Volquez bunted, and in a very strange play, Matt Carpenter let the bunt drop and threw to second. No one was covering second, though, and the ball headed to the outfield. Jon Jay, in a heads-up play, came in to get the ball and forced Mercer out at second before anyone could figure out what was going on. Gregory Polanco then walked, which meant, as Rob Biertempfel pointed out, that the Pirates had loaded the bases without hitting the ball out of the infield, and with Jon Jay as the only guy to record an out.

Anyway, then Josh Harrison, surely grateful for a bases-loaded opportunity against a mediocre lefty like Lyons, knocked a ground-rule double to bring home two runners. Two more runners came home on a passed ball and then a sacrifice fly. The Pirates were well on their way to a blowout at that point, but Russell Martin tacked on a solo homer in the ninth for good measure.

Volquez, meanwhile, was terrific, throwing 114 pitches and striking out five while walking two. He allowed six hits, all singles, and didn't give the Cardinals much of a chance as the Pirates pounded away in the middle innings.

The Brewers and Reds also lost, so the Pirates gained a game on all three of their top divisional competitors. They're now 3.5 games out of first. The victory also moved the Pirates into positive Pythagorean territory, with 377 runs scored and 376 runs allowed.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Bucs Dugout

You must be a member of Bucs Dugout to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Bucs Dugout. You should read them.

Join Bucs Dugout

You must be a member of Bucs Dugout to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Bucs Dugout. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9351_tracker