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PIrates implode in ninth, drop to Cardinals 7-5

Stephenson and Crowe stumble late, blow 3-0 lead

MLB: St. Louis Cardinals at Pittsburgh Pirates
Not even a Cruz missile could help.
Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

The Pirates looked like they were on cruise control early in this one. Rodolfo Castro and Jack Suwinski homered, Cardinals starter Jack Flaherty was walking guys like he was getting paid bonuses for them, and there were hits too.

But, as has happened all season, the Pirates couldn’t hold the three-run lead, and the Cardinals, getting help from all up and down their battery, took the victory, 7-5.

JT Brubaker seemed in control, despite walking lead-off batter (and former Pirate) Corey Dickerson to begin the game. He was getting groundouts and double plays. Of course, it helped that Rodolfo Castro solo-homered in the bottom of the first. In the second, Ke’Bryan Hayes walked, and Jack SuWINski homered, like so:

But the Cardinals are good and shook off the cobwebs that seemed to envelop them Friday night. Brendan Donovan homered in the fifth to erase the goose egg, then Albert Pujols had to jack one to add to his number and tie the game at three in the sixth, as well as Alex Rodriguez’s homers numbers, as Brubaker had given up a double to Tyler O’Neill earlier. But then there was this Cruz Missile off Cardinals reliever Jo Jo Romero:

But then the sails deflated on the Pirate Ship—Albert Pujols showed that he only needed to hit a single to help tie things up after a Nolan Gorman double off Stephenson in the eighth, and Wil Crowe loaded the bases in the ninth and paid for it.

This is the most frustrating thing about the Pirates in my opinion—they never seem to run regularly on all cylinders. If the pitching is on, the hitting or defense dies, and vice versa. But today the closest person the Pirates have had to an ace this season, Mitch Keller, is on the mound today against former (and possibly future) Pirate Jose Quintana.