Game Report: Pirates 6, Cardinals 3

At the end of a week that saw Trevor Rosenthal and Adam Wainwright placed on the disabled list, the Cardinals may have to admit there also is something that’s not right with Mike Leake.

Leake had another poor start on Sunday night as the Cardinals lost to the Pirates in the Little League Classic in Williamsport, Pa.

Leake allowed eight hits and six runs in just three innings as he fell to 7-12 on the season. More importantly, he is 1-6 since July 1 and has lasted longer than five innings in only two of his last nine starts.

In his four starts this month, Leake is now 0-3 with an ERA of 10.31, allowing 21 earned runs in a combined 18 1/3 innings.

Leake gave up a long three-run homer to Josh Bell in the first inning and then saw the Pirates score three more runs in the third before he was lifted after only 52 pitches, his second shortest outing of the season.

Here is how the game broke down:


At the plate:
Jedd Gyorko hit a two-run homer in the second, his 17th of the season, but the Cardinals added only one more run, when Yadier Molina doubled and scored on a single by Kolten Wong in the sixth … Molina had three hits and also reached on an error leading off the fourth. He went to third on a double by Gyorko but the Cardinals stranded both runners … The Cardinals also had runners on first and second with one out in the seventh but could not bring them home … Stephen Piscotty, added to the roster as the designated 26th player, started in right field batting second and had a pair of singles and walked in five plate appearances.

On the mound: After Leake came out of the game, the combination of Sam Tuivailala, Brett Cecil and John Brebbia kept the Pirates scoreless for the final five innings. Tuivailala worked three shutout innings, allowing one hit, one walk and a hit batter; Cecil worked a 1-2-3 seventh with two strikeouts and Brebbia retired all three batters he faced in the eighth.

Key stat: The Cardinals have allowed at least five runs in their last 11 games, giving up a total of 71 runs. That is tied for the second longest streak in franchise history. Twice they have allowed at least five runs in 13 consecutive games, in 2003 and 1929. They also allowed five or more runs in 11 consecutive games in 1927 and 1924.

Worth noting: Dexter Fowler was in the lineup after missing Saturday night’s game because of a sore back. The Cardinals had brought Magneuris Sierra to Pittsburgh just in case they had to make a roster move with Fowler before Sunday night’s game … The last time the Cardinals played in a non-major league stadium was in 1997, when they played the Padres in a three-game series in Honolulu, Hawaii … In a fitting conclusion to the game, the Cardinals and Pirates lined up and shook hands, just like Little Leaguers do after every game.

Looking ahead: After a day off on Monday, the Cardinals will be back at Busch Stadium to open a three-game series against the Padres on Tuesday night. Lance Lynn will pitch the opener against Clayton Richard.