Sure, the Pittsburgh Pirates took a 2-0 first inning lead over the St. Louis Cardinals. But the Cards scored one in the second and, in the third, Carlos Beltran did this — got career hit No. 2,000 plus drove in the tying run.
Oh, and it was Carlos Beltran replica jersey giveaway night. Such timing!
Allen Craig was next, and he launched a three-run bomb to center to put the Cardinals up 5-2.
After a scoreless fourth, things fell apart. So, just like Carlos Beltran’s last milestone two weeks ago, the Cards lost. Can’t they let the guy have an enjoyable night to celebrate?
Adam Wainwright had settled down after the first inning, and had even gotten two outs in the fifth. But then two singles by Andrew McCutchen and Garrett Jones were followed by Wainwright’s only walk of the night, to Neil Walker. A Pedro Alvarez double cleared the bases and tied the game.
Things got even worse in the sixth.
Wainwright allowed back-to-back homers to Clint Barmes and pinch-hitter Alex Presley, then left the game. In was Eduardo Sanchez, who did get the first two batters he faced. But then McCutchen was up, and he did what he did all night: got on base. And Jones hit the Pirates’ third homer of the inning.
Fernando Salas had a 1-2-3 seventh, but then gave up a lead-off single to the Pirates reliever and two walks to start the eighth. In came Sam Freeman, who — like Sanchez — really fared no better than his last outing against the Marlins. He gave up a sharp single to Casey McGehee that only scored one run, plus a bases-loaded walk to score another.
Ninth inning, Marc Rzepczynski — basically same story. A walk, an Andrew McCutchen homer …
Grand total was 14 runs on 19 hits for the Pirates. Seven runs allowed by Wainwright, seven by the bullpen.
Bullpen changes coming? Hopefully.
UPDATE: Yes, they are. Here’s a tweet from the Cardinals this morning:
Cards shuffle bullpen roster: RHP Maikel Cleto & rookie LHP Barret Browning called up. Freeman and Sanchez sent down to Triple-A Memphis.
— St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) June 30, 2012
And after the Cardinals took the lead in the third, they only had two hits the rest of the game.
What was a hot night temperature-wise — 101 degrees at game time — should be even hotter today since it’s an afternoon game starting at 1:15 p.m. with a high of 104 expected. Jeff Karstens and Lance Lynn are the starters.
An injury update: Chris Carpenter was back throwing in the bullpen in the heat yesterday, the day after visiting a specialist in Dallas. The nerve issues in his shoulder were diagnosed as thoracic outlet syndrome. Here’s more from Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and also from Jenifer Langosch of Cardinals.com.
Christine Coleman is the senior St. Louis Cardinals reporter for Aaron Miles’ Fastball. Follow her on Twitter, @CColeman802, or email email@example.com. Also follow @AMilesFastball for the latest updates.