Starling Marte returned to the lineup with a bang, blasting a 440 foot home run in his first time up, but that was all scoring the Pirates could muster on a day when Trevor Williams was short a stud.
Cardinals rookie hurler Jack Flaherty scattered four hits and two walks over six strong innings. Williams, meanwhile, only lasted four while allowing St. Louis all their runs.
Matt Carpenter led off the game with a homer to right but Marte homered with two outs in the bottom of the first to tie the score at one. That lasted until the third when shortstop Yairo Martinez, the eighth place hitter, led off with a ground single to left. After being bunted to second by the pitcher, Carpenter popped up for the second out, but Jose Martinez lined a 2-2 pitch to center to gives the Cards the lead 2-1.
They scored their final two runs in the fourth, loading the bases when Tommy Pham grounded a double down the left field line, Marcell Ozuna looped a single to right, and after Jedd Gyorko popped up for the first out, Dexter Fowler was hit by a pitch on his knee, forcing his removal from the game. Francisco Pena then drove a ball to deep center for a sac fly and Munoz beat out an infield hit to third to plate another.
The Pirates never really threatened. Francisco Cervelli walked and Marte singled with two outs in the third, but Josh Bell grounded out to end the inning and they never had more than one base runner in any inning after that.
Richard Rodriguez threw a scoreless inning before Tyler Glasnow chipped in two more, giving Glasnow a stretch of one run allow in 11 1⁄3 innings in his last six appearances, along with 14 K’s and only a pair of walks.
The three game series concludes Sunday at 1:35, as Jameson Taillon faces the undefeated Miles Mikolas.