Alex Presley led off the bottom of the first with an inside-the-park homer as Skip Schumaker, who was making his 2012 debut after being rushed back from injury, missed the ball and then crumpled after hitting the wall in center. Presley made it around the bases easily.
It was a pretty good night for Charlie Morton, who held the Cardinals to two runs, one earned, in five innings despite a bunch of fielding issues. He struck out six. In the second, Carlos Beltran reached base on an error by Morton, and Yadier Molina doubled down the left-field line. Clint Barmes received the throw from the outfield and tried to get the ball to the plate, but it slipped out of his hand and bounced ludicrously across the infield. The Cards then took a 2-1 lead on a single by pitcher Lance Lynn, a walk, a grounder, and a weak single by Beltran.
Evan Meek pitched a scoreless sixth, and Jared Hughes pitched two of his own, but then Clint Hurdle sent him out for the ninth, and Hughes gave up a homer to right on a meatball to Daniel Descalso, and, after an error by Neil Walker, an RBI double by Rafael Furcal. (Hughes' sinker isn't that hard to hit when it's thigh-high. Not that I can really blame him too much after having to go out there for a third inning.)
The Pirates got only four hits on the night. Two were by Jose Tabata. Pedro Alvarez went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts. Barmes went 0-for-3 with two errors, continuing the remarkably bad start to his season. Rod Barajas went 0-for-3 and is now batting .067. Etc. etc. etc.
In the minors:
-P- Alen Hanson has two more hits so far for West Virginia, but Stetson Allie gave up four walks in a third of an inning, giving him eight in two-thirds of an inning so far this season. If you're making a Pirates top 20 prospects list right now, where do you put him?
-P- Gerrit Cole struck out seven in five innings in Bradenton, although he also allowed a homer and two doubles.
-P- Altoona is currently down 15-7 to Richmond in the bottom of the ninth. None of the pitchers who gave up all those runs are really prospects, though. Adalberto Santos has four hits.
-P- Indianapolis was postponed.