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Bullpen Blows It, Pirates Lose Rubber Match In St. Louis

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MLB: Pittsburgh Pirates at St. Louis Cardinals Joe Puetz-USA TODAY Sports

Chris Archer gave the Bucs a quality start and a clutch hit, but Paul Goldschmidt’s seventh inning three run homer was too much to overcome Wednesday in a 6-5 loss to the Cardinals.

Leading 4-3 entering the bottom of the seventh, Clint Hurdle turned to Francisco Liriano to open the frame. After allowing a single and a walk, Michael Feliz was called upon with two on and one out to face Goldschmidt, and the Cardinals’ first baseman drove a 2-2 inside fastball into the bullpen in left.

Liriano is charged with the loss, falling to 4-2. It is Feliz’s first blown save this year.

Archer sparked a two out rally in the fourth, delivering a game-tying single to right after the Cardinals opted to walk Jacob Stallings with two outs to get to the pitcher.

After a Kevin Newman bloop loaded the bases, Bryan Reynolds drove home a pair on a base knock of his own, giving the Pirates a 4-2 lead.

Archer surrendered a solo shot to Tyler O’Neil in the fifth before retiring the Cardinals in the sixth to close his afternoon. He allowed three runs on five hits, two walks and a homer while striking out eight.

It is Archer’s fifth quality start of the season.

Newman and Reynolds delivered consecutive two out hits again the ninth to bring home pinch-hitter Josh Bell and put the tying run 90 feet away, but Cardinals’ shortstop Paul DeJong was able to gobble up a hot shot by Starling Marte to end the game.

Marte homered in the first inning off Daniel Ponce de Leon for his only hit in five at-bats.

Ponce de Leon allowed four runs in 3.2 innings. John Brebbia gets the win (3-3) for his two perfect innings. Carlos Martinez picks up his sixth save of the year.

Reynolds went 2-5 with three RBI. Newman singled three times in his five trips to the plate.

On Deck

The Pirates are off Thursday before returning to PNC Park Friday. They’ll open the seven game homestand with a three gamer with the Phillies. Jordan Lyles (5-6, 5.16) will try to get back on track against Jake Arrieta (8-7, 4.54). First pitch is at 7:05 p.m..

NUMB3RS

1. This is the first time Archer has made back-to-back quality starts since Apr. 7 and 13.

2. Goldschmidt’s home run was the first Feliz had allowed in his 15 outings since being recalled on June 8.

3. Newman is slashing .333/.358/.487 in 159 plate appearances out of the leadoff spot this year.