Martinez Home Run Lifts Cardinals Over Pirates 4-3

Missed opportunities doom Pirates again in Game 2 of this 4-game series

Matt Harkins
July 23, 2019 - 11:22 pm

© Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

PITTSBURGH (93.7 The Fan) - Jose Martinez's home run to lead-off the 5th inning lifted the St. Louis Cardinals over the Pittsburgh Pirates 4-3 Tuesday night in game two of this four game series at PNC Park.

The Pirates jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the 1st inning as Adam Frazier led the inning off with a single, Bryan Reynolds walked and Starling Marte put one into the bullpen for a 3-run home run and it looked like the Pirates were getting ready to have a big night on offense.

After that home run, however, the Cardinals' pitchers locked it down and even when the Pirates loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the fifth, Dakota Hudson got Josh Bell to strikeout and Colin Moran to ground into a double play to end the threat and the inning.

"It's an opportunity to do something special and significant and it got away from us," said Manager Clint Hurdle. "We've had a little bit of that going on here in the 2nd half, more so that we had maybe all the way back to April. It's guys that you'd want up at the plate...guys that have produced and done some things. It's what makes the game so great, those opportunities, there 1-on-1 and you get an opportunity to help your club. Like I said, throw something in the gap there, you pick your starting pitcher up. The effort is there, the execution of the at-bat, that's something that's getting away from us a little bit."

It was a mixed bag kind of night for starting pitcher Chris Archer and he looked really good at times, but the two run home run he gave up to Paul Goldschmidt in the third inning turned the tide in this game a little bit.

"This sounds crazy, but pitches that the damage was done on, the two run homer, right where I want to throw it. The pitch that Martinez got a hit prior to that to kind of set the table was right where I want to throw it," said Archer. "For me that was the difference in the game, if I don't give up that two run homer, the outlook of the game is completely different, but I threw those pitches right where I wanted to. Paul Goldschmidt's been struggling a little, but he's still a really good player and he got to a good heater and twisted on it."

The final line for Archer tonight was 6 innings and gave up 7 hits, 4 runs, 2 home runs, 2 walks and struck out 6 on 97 pitches (63 strikes).

After giving up the go ahead home run to the Philadelphia Phillies in extra innings Sunday, pitcher Chris Stratton appeared in a game for the first time since then Tuesday night and he pitched 3 scoreless innings, struck out 4 and kept the Pirates in the game for the final 3 innings and made sure they had a chance at least to comeback to tie and try to take the lead.

"It was nice to get that bad taste out of my mouth after the last outing, I feel like I kind of let the team down giving up that home run, so it was nice to get out there and try to contribute, try to keep us in the game, but hopefully we can get this thing rollling pretty soon," said Stratton. 

The Pirates take on the Cardinals in game three of this four game series when Jordan Lyles (5-6, 4.91 ERA) takes the mound for Pittsburgh against Adam Wainwright (6-7, 4.50 ERA) and St.Louis at 7:-5 pm Wednesday night.

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