The Pittsburgh Pirates got to Adam Wainwright early, who admits his pitches aren’t where they should be yet, but they left the door open for big innings and the Cardinals hitters were unable to respond, losing 4-1 on Opening Day at PNC Park. The Cardinals left ten runners on base and struck out 14 times.
Wainwright was leaving his pitches up early and he got tagged for two runs in the second inning on a leadoff double by Gregory Polanco, a walk to Jody Mercer and RBI singles from pitcher Francisco Liriano and leadoff hitter John Jaso. The Pirates added another run off Wainwright in the sixth after catcher Francisco Cervelli tripled and then scored on a single by Josh Harrison.
In between, Wainwright settled in allowing a walk and later a single from innings three-five.
Wainwright on his start
The Cardinals missed opportunities to score. In the third, after Jedd Gyorko walked with one out, Cervelli tried to get Gyorko at second after a sac bunt attempt. Instead of getting the easy out with Wainwright at first, Cervelli’s throw sailed into centerfield, allowing Gyorko to go to their. However, Liriano got Matt Carpenter to ground into a double play to end the threat.
In the fourth, the Cardinals put runners on first and second with one out, but Stephen Piscotty couldn’t check his swing and went down. After a walk to Yadier Molina to load the bases, Liriano made the lefty Wong look foolish striking him out to snuff out the bases loaded threat.
In the sixth, the Cardinals coaxed two more walks out of Liriano and Molina singled to load the bases with one out. Again, the Cardinals failed as Wong popped out and Gyorko grounded out.
The Cardinals mounted a rally and scored their only run in the ninth on a single by Carpenter, but flied out to center representing the tying run as closer Mark Melancon was able to finish off the non-save appearance.
Matheny on lack of offense