Pittsburgh’s Garrett Jones had three hits and Russell Martin hit two homers on Sunday to end rookie Shelby Miller’s streak of 14 scoreless innings at home to start the season, in a 9-0 loss to the Pirates. The Pirates have won nine of 12 overall and have the division lead for the first time since July 8, leapfrogging the Cardinals for first place by a half game.
Rookie Jeff Locke held the Cardinals to three hits and two walks over seven innings and has now worked 13 scoreless innings while allowing five hits his last two starts. The Cardinals got just three singles and advanced two runners into scoring position against the 25-year-old.
Miller struck out seven and allowed three runs on seven hits over 5.2 innings, but the bullpen was victimized, including Mitchell Boggs once again, who could only get two outs while allowing three runs on two hits and a walk.
The Cardinals were outscored by the Pirates, 14-1, over the final 12 innings of the series, as the Cardinals lost on consecutive days for the first time this year. The big concern has to the be the bullpen. The Pirates scored six times off Fernando Salas, Boggs and Marc Rzepczynski in 3. 1 innings on Sunday, just a day after the bullpen gave up five runs in three innings.
“It’s not easy,” Boggs said of his 12.66 ERA. “I’m obviously not ecstatic about how it’s going. It’s hard to be positive, but you have to do everything you can to fight every single day. If anybody can’t see that, they’re crazy.
Perhaps good news is on the way for the bullpen. On Sunday, Jason Motte had no unusual soreness after he threw for the first time in five weeks on Saturday. Motte played catch for a second straight day, throwing from 60-65 feet and will continue his throwing program. If he has no setbacks, he hopefully will avoid surgery.