Game Report: Pirates 5, Cardinals 2

Seung Hwan Oh’s problems pitching in the ninth inning did not go anywhere during the All-Star break.

Returning to start the second half of the season Friday night in Pittsburgh, Oh gave up a three-run walk-off homer to the Pirates’ Josh Bell with one out which gave the Pirates the win over the Cardinals.

It was the seventh homer Oh has allowed in the ninth inning this season, plus one in the 10th.

The Cardinals once again lost a game in which they had a 2-0 lead. They also could have lost outfielder Stephen Piscotty, who had to leave the game in the ninth inning with an apparent groin injury, suffered as he tried to plant and make a throw after catching a fly ball.

It was the first time the Pirates have hit a walk-off homer in the ninth inning against the Cardinals since Curtis Wilkerson hit a grand slam off Lee Smith on Sept. 19, 1991. The Pirates had hit three walk-off homers against the Cardinals since that homer, but all came in extra innings.

Adam Frazier led off the ninth for the Pirates with a double and with one out Andrew McCutchen was intentionally walked to bring up Bell, who hit a 1-2 pitch into the seats in left field.

Here is how the game broke down:


At the plate: Jedd Gyorko’s two-run homer in the first inning accounted for the Cardinals’ runs, also scoring Tommy Pham, who had singled … The Cardinals had only four additional hits after the first inning, all singles … They had only three at-bats with a runner in scoring position and did not record a hit … Matt Carpenter singled in four at-bats to extend his streak reaching base to 17 consecutive games. He has only 13 hits in that streak but also has walked 15 times and been hit by a pitch … Kolten Wong returned from the DL and went 0-of-3.

On the mound:
Mike Leake allowed the first two Pirates runs, giving up one in the third and one in the fifth. He surrendered seven hits and also walked five in his five innings of work … Matt Bowman and Brett Cecil kept the game tied in the sixth and seventh before Trevor Rosenthal struck out two batters in a 1-2-3 eighth, then turned the tie game over to Oh.

Key stat: Oh has pitched the ninth inning in 31 games this season and now has an ERA of 4.93 in that inning, giving up 17 earned runs.

Worth noting: This was only the second walk-off homer allowed by Oh in his two years with the Cardinals. The other was hit by the Reds’ Scott Schebler on Aug. 2 last year … The Cardinals recalled Jose Martinez from Memphis before the game and placed Randal Grichuk on the 10-day disabled list because of a lower back strain. Martinez had been optioned on July 7 but because the Triple A team also was on a break for its All-Star game he never actually reported to Memphis … The Cardinals will play 42 of their remaining 73 games this season on the road, including nine in Pittsburgh. They also will play the Pirates in Williamsport, Pa., as part of a salute to the Little League World Series. It’s the highest percentage of road games in the second half of the season for any team in the majors … Carson Kelly celebrated his 23rd birthday with a walk-off single in the ninth inning Friday night in Memphis.

Looking ahead:
Lance Lynn will start the second game of the series on Saturday night for the Cardinals while Jameson Taillon is scheduled to start for the Pirates.