Game Report: Pirates 4, Cardinals 3

By Rob Rains

Paul DeJong is learning all about the ups and downs that can come awfully fast during a major-league baseball game.

Down after his throwing error in the fourth inning Friday night helped the Pirates score the tying run, he was up just three innings later.

That’s when his fifth homer in his first 20 games with the Cardinals landed in the home bullpen, giving the Cardinals a 3-2 lead over the Pirates at Busch Stadium.

In a season so far filled with more downs than ups, however, the Cardinals could not protect that lead as Trevor Rosenthal allowed the tying run in the eighth and Seung Hwan Oh gave up a go-ahead homer by John Jaso in the ninth, giving the Pirates the 4-3 win.

The loss dropped the Cardinals into fourth place in the NL Central and they have matched their worst record of the season at six games under .500.

Here is how the game broke down:

At the plate:
A two-run homer by Jose Martinez put the Cardinals in front in the second. It was their only hit that got past the infield until DeJong’s homer in the seventh … The Cardinals had two runners on base in both the seventh and eighth but couldn’t score as they left the go-ahead run on third with one out in the eighth when Aledmys Diaz lined out and DeJong flied to right … Of the Cardinals 31 runs in their last six games, 25 have scored on home runs … DeJong’s homer was his first at Busch Stadium. The only other Cardinals to hit five or more homers in their first 20 games since 2000 were Albert Pujols (7 in 2001) and Jeremy Hazelbaker (5 last year).

On the mound
: The Pirates’ rally cost Adam Wainwright a win. He allowed just two runs on two hits over seven innings, and one of the runs was unearned because of DeJong’s error. Wainwright lowered his ERA at home to 2.64 and has allowed five runs, four earned, in 31 innings in his last five starts at Busch … Rosenthal gave up a single and walk before David Freese hit a 3-2 fastball for an RBI single in the eighth to tie the game. It was Freese’s first career hit off Rosenthal in four at-bats … Jaso’s homer off Oh with two outs in the ninth was the fifth he has allowed this season, matching his total from all of last year.

Key stat: Oh has allowed one or two runs in four of his last six outings, a total of six runs in six innings. In 20 games since May 1 he has allowed at least one hit or a walk in 16 of those games.

Worth noting:
Dexter Fowler and Yadier Molina did not play as they nursed minor injuries. Fowler missed his second consecutive game because of tightness in his leg, while Molina sat out after a foul ball hit him on the knee during Thursday’s game. Both could be cleared to play on Saturday … Kolten Wong, on the DL because of a sore right arm, could begin a minor-league rehab assignment next week … Former Cardinal Jhonny Peralta signed a minor-league contract with the Red Sox on Friday and is scheduled to join Triple A Pawtucket on Monday … Luke Weaver worked 3 2/3 scoreless innings for Memphis on Friday night, allowing just one hit, but had to come out of the game after throwing 75 pitches to get the 11 outs.

Looking ahead: Lance Lynn will pitch against Gerrit Cole in the second game of the series, which begins at 6:15 p.m. on Saturday night.

Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains