Except for all the homeruns Chris Archer had a pretty decent game.
Things were looking good for the Pirates when the first three batters of the game scored on Starling Marte’s home run to centerfield, his 17th of the year - but that would be the last time the Pirates would score.
Kolten Wong doubled in a run in the second, Paul Goldschmidt lined a two-run homer into the left field corner in the third, his 20th, and Jose Martinez provided the game winner with a solo shot in the fifth, his 10th home run of the year.
Cardinals’ starter Dakota Hudson came into the game allowing a .910 OPS to left-handed batters this year, with nearly one in five of those swinging from the left side either walking or hitting a homer - but the Pirates’ five left-handers went a combined 4-for-17 with a pair of doubles.
Down 4-3 in the bottom of the fifth, the Pirates loaded the bases with no outs on a single by Adam Frazier and walks to Bryan Reynolds and Marte - but the threat was quickly extinguished when Josh Bell went down swinging on three pitches and Colin Moran promptly hit into an inning ending double play.
One bright spot was reliever Chris Stratton retiring all nine batters he faced, four on strikes. After struggling mightily early in the season, resulting in his being designated for assignment by the Angels, Stratton has a 3.51 ERA in 25 2⁄3 innings for the Pirates, with 23 strikeouts and only 3 walks.
The Pirates have now lost nine of their last eleven games and sit in fourth place, 8 games behind the first place Cubs with a record of 46-54 as only seven days remain before the trade deadline.
The series will continue on Wednesday at 7:05 p.m. Eastern as Jordan Lyles (5-6, 4.91) is scheduled to face the Cardinals’ veteran right-hander Adam Wainwright (6-7, 4.50)