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Cardinals beat up on Kris Johnson, top Pirates 7-2

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Justin K. Aller

The Cardinals easily beat the Pirates 7-2 Sunday in a game that showed that, well, Kris Johnson isn't very good.

The Pirates lost out on a chance to sweep the series, but this game felt like a bit of a punt anyway -- despite his heroics in relief a couple weeks ago, Johnson is a mediocre Triple-A player who ideally wouldn't be in the big leagues. He had to put in a start today, though, and the Cardinals beat him badly, putting the Pirates in a big hole soon after the game began. The Cards scored three in the first in an excruciating 37-pitch inning, then got two more in the third after Johnson kicked off the inning with three straight hits. Clint Hurdle replaced Johnson with Jeanmar Gomez after that, but the damage was done.

And after that, well, not much happened. The Cardinals scored two more in the sixth before the Pirates picked up irrelevant runs in the sixth and ninth. But let's say something nice. Marlon Byrd has looked terrific in his brief time with the Pirates so far, and he went 2-for-3 with a walk and a hard-hit double this afternoon. So there's that. Justin Morneau went 1-for-3 with a walk in his Bucs debut.