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Strong Outings By Bell, Archer Wasted In Loss To Cards

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MLB: Pittsburgh Pirates at St. Louis Cardinals Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Josh Bell doubled twice and Chris Archer fanned nine Friday night, but the Cardinals were able to rally off Richard Rodriguez in the eighth in a 6-2 Pirate loss.

Tied at two heading into the home half of the eighth, Dexter Fowler doubled to open the inning to immediately put a Cardinal in scoring position. Paul Goldschmidt was then able to sneak a low liner past shortstop Kevin Newman, who got enough of the ball to slow it down and let Fowler score without a throw.

Five pitches later, Marcell Ozuna broke the game open with a deep fly to left.

A misplayed ball by left fielder Jose Osuna later in the frame would eventually lead to more insurance for St. Louis.

Archer started shaky, allowing three singles within his first four pitches of the game, but he was able to escape the first with the only run coming on an Ozuna double-play. The Cardinals got a second run off him on a Matt Weiters two out infield single in the fourth, but that was it.

Archer struck out nine, tied for his second best total of the season. Four of those punchouts came on fastballs- all of which were high- and four were on sliders, most of which were low and to Archer’s glove side.

Pitch location and type of Archer’s strikeouts. Courtesy of Baseball Savant.

Archer allowed seven hits over his six innings. He did not issue a free pass.

Bell provided the offense for the Pirates, stroking two well hit Dakota Hudson sinkers for doubles. He would come home twice via sacrifice flies, the first coming from Osuna in the second and the second by Colin Moran in the fourth.

Bell finished 2-3 with a walk.

Hudson was pulled after four innings, allowing two runs on six hits. He did not walk or strikeout a batter.

Carlos Martinez (3-2) gets the win for earning the final four outs of the game. Rodriguez falls to 3-5.

Moran went 1-1 with a single, a sacrifice fly and two walks.

The Pirates’ losing streak is extended to six games while the Cardinals snap their skid at five. The Pirates are now 4-22 since the All-Star break.

On Deck

Joe Musgrove (8-10, 4.69) will take the bump Saturday against Adam Wainwright (7-8, 4.50). First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. Eastern.

NUMB3RS

1. Archer’s fastball averaged a speed of 95.4 MPH. That is the best it has been since Aug. 15, 2018.

2. Seven of Rodriguez’s 23 runs allowed this year have come against the Cardinals.

3. Bell hit two balls at least 109 MPH for just the fifth time this year, per Baseball Savant. It was his first game with multiple extra-base hits since July 3.