Monday, April 16, 2007

Game 11: Pirates at Cardinals

The Pirates were back in action Monday night, following a weekend of postponed ball due to the storm that drenched the Northeast. The Pirates and Cardinals meet in St. Louis, already with a history, the Cardinals swept the 3-game series in Pittsburgh last week. Ian Snell was on the mound for the Pirates, Anthony Reyes for the Cardinals.

Pittsburgh kicked off the scoring in the 1st. Jack Wilson walked, and then a Freddy Sanchez moved him to second. Adam LaRoche singled to right, to load the bases for Jason Bay. Reyes walked Bay, bringing in Wilson to score. The next batter, Xavier Nady singled sharply up the middle scoring Sanchez and LaRoche, putting the Pirates up 3-0.

Reyes settled down, and got out of the first without further damage. He went 4 more innings, through the 5th, without allowing another run.

Ian Snell had another strong outing, allowing only 1 hit in 6 shutout innings, before struggling in the 7th.

Scott Rolen singled to lead off the 7th. Following a Jim Edmonds strikeout, Scott Spiezio walked to move Rolen to second. Adam Kennedy sent a line drive to right, scoring Rolen. Snell walked Yadier Molina to load the bases, and move the tying run into scoring position. With all eyes on the Pirates dugout, Mangaer Jim Tracy made no moves. Snell rewarded his confidence, getting Skip Schumaker to pop out, and then David Eckstein to ground out, ending the threat.

The Cardinals chipped away more at the lead in 8th against Pittsburgh relief pitchers. Chris Duncan singled off Matt Capps, and was moved to second on a Albert Pujols ground out. The Pirates brought in Damaso Martes to face Jim Edmonds, who singled to left scoring Duncan. Cardinals 2, Pirates 3.

In the bottom of the 9th, St. Louis looked to complete the comeback. Salomon Torres took the mound, having struggled recently, with a loss and blown save in his last two appearances. Adam Kennedy grounded to first, but LaRoche bobbled the ball allowing the tying on-base. Molina's sacrifice bunt moved Kennedy into scoring position. With one out in the 9th, Aaron Mile's ground ball down the third base took a fortuitous bounce off the bag and over Bautista, moving Kennedy to third. Torres first pitch to Eckstein caught his elbow, loading the bases.

Cardinals left fielder Chris Duncan came to the plate, knowing an outfield single would score two and win the game. He sent the second pitch he saw into left field, but Jason Bay tracked it down, making the out and keeping the runners in place. Pujols fouled off a ball to third baseman Jose Bautista, preserving the Pirates victory.

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