JT Brubaker endured a rare rough start, as the host St. Louis Cardinals touched him for five runs and eight hits in 5 2/3 innings en route to a 5-2 win over the Pirates Tuesday night at Busch Stadium.
The Bucs will try to even the series when the two teams meet again at 7:45 p.m. Wednesday at Busch Stadium. The scheduled starters are Trevor Cahill for the Pirates and Jack Flaherty for St. Louis.
St. Louis wasted no time getting after Brubaker (3-3), as Nolan Arenado touched him for a two-run homer in the first inning.
The Cardinals added two more in the second when, with runners at second and third, Tommy Edman lofted a pop up to short left field that third baseman Erik Gonzalez – running with his back to the infield — could not secure. Both runners scored, widening the Cardinals’ lead to 4-0.
St. Louis tacked on its final run in the third on a walk, Yadier Molina’s base hit and Edmundo Sosa’s double to right.
Brubaker walked three and struck out three in his 5 2/3 innings of work.
The Pirates’ only runs came in the sixth inning on a fielder’s choice and Gonzalez’s RBI single.
The Bucs managed five hits off winner John Gant (3-3), who worked 5 1/3 innings and gave up both runs.
Kevin Newman and Gregory Polanco each had two hits.
The Pirates will try to even the series Wednesday night, but will have their work cut out for them in taking on Flaherty, who is a sparkling 7-0 with a 2.47 ERA in eight starts. He’s struck out 48 batters in 47 1/3 innings and sports a WHIP of 0.95. The right-hander was roughed up for six earned runs in 4 1/3 innings in his first start of the year against the Reds, but since then he has crafted an ERA of 1.47, allowing just 26 hits in 43 innings while striking out 44 and walking 11.
In his first start against the Pirates this year, Flaherty went six innings and gave up six hits and three earned runs in a 12-5 victory.