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Wainwright Connects For Three RBI, Rookie Catcher Carson Kelly Makes Debut In Win Over Pirates

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Adam Wainwright opens up Cardinals scoring with a RBI double in the second.
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

St. Louis Cardinals, hosted by the Pittsburgh Pirates, battled the afternoon shadows in PNC Park a bit better than the home team. Adam Wainwright faced Pirates rookie Chad Kuhl, who was re-called August 9, to replace starter Gerrit Cole who was placed on the DL with elbow inflammation. Both starters found themselves with jammed bases in the first. Both were able to close the inning unscathed. 

In Kuhl's second inning, he issued a walk, got his first out, then faced the Cardinals starter. Wainwright crunched the two-seamer for a RBI double to put the Cardinals on the board early. Lead-off Matt Carpenter, who had punched out a double in the first, was hit-by-a-pitch, runners on first and second. Stephen Piscotty followed Wainwright lead with a two-RBI double to give the Cardinals a 3-0 lead. 

Wainwright, back on the hill, gave up two of his four earned runs in the bottom of the second. Francisco Cervelli with a RBI single; and, Josh Bell belted out a RBI double to close the gap on the board. 

Kuhl was replaced by Jeff Locke after 3 ER/3-BB/2 SO for his two innings pitched. Locke began the third issuing a walk. Kolten Wong, with a RBI single to right, to put some space in the Cardinals 4-2 lead. Locke would realize multi-runs in his fourth. Top of the order, Jedd Gyorko, takes Locke's 0-2 pitch sending it out of the park for another solo shot to begin a four run inning. That was his 26 HR surpassing his buddy, Brandon Moss (25) for his career high. Also, Cardinals 24 straight game with home runs. 

Two runners, two outs on the board, Tommy Pham hits into a fielder's choice for a RBI and Yadier Molina safe at second on a throwing error. Bags loaded, Wainwright back at the plate. He stings Locke with a single to left center for a 2-RBI single in the fourth giving the Cardinals their seventh - eighth runs. 

Locke's fifth, once again faced Gyorko; but, got him on a pop-out, great catch by SS Jordy Mercer dealing with the full sun. Piscotty is hit by a pitch, which halted play to check his left wrist at the at 'heel of the hand' area. He took his place at first, but would be sat down as 'precautionary' for the remainder of the game after the inning. Matt Adams slugs out his first home run, two hole shot, since his recent return from the DL due to a right shoulder issue giving the Cardinals a 10-2 lead. Locke is retired after three innings, two home runs, seven runs with four earned, two walks and two strikeouts.   

Wainwright's fifth, two outs on the board, Andrew McCutchen, who had been held to 0-2 would not be denied. On a 2-0 pitch, he sends a missile out over the center wall for two-run home run to chip away at the Cardinals lead. Wainwright was retired after five with 1 HR/4 ER/1-BB/5 SO, adding three RBI to give him a season total of 14. This season, with ten hits, his first nine hits were extra base hits which includes two home runs for his .189 BA. 

Jonathan Broxton took over for the next two innings holding the Pirates scoreless. In the seventh, rookie catcher Carson Kelly replaced Molina as backstop. Kelly was called up during the Cardinals series with the Cincinnati Reds this past weekend making his first major league appearance. Yesterday was his debut as a Cardinals catching for Broxton. 

Catching means taking your place in the line-up. In the eighth, he faced Antonio Bastardo, and was top-of-the-order. Kelly slugs out his first major league double. Followed by Randal Grichuk with a RBI double for Kelly's first major league run. In the minors, combined Springfield Double-A Cardinals and the Memphis Triple-A Redbirds, he held a .289 BA/.343 OBP with 6 HR/32 RBI. Evidently facing MLB pitchers is not an issue for the 22 year old; at least, not in yesterday's game. Jhonny Peralta hit a RBI sac-fly off Bastardo to give the Cardinals 12 runs on the board. 

Miguel Socolovich handed the ninth against the Pirates. He gave up a triple by Mercer, a sac-fly RBI to Josh Bell and a solo shot to Adam Frazier, before getting his "K" on Jason Rogers to close the inning handing Wainwright his evasive 10 win this season. And, Kuhl was handed his third loss in the final 12-6 win by the Cardinals. 

TONIGHT'S GAME TWO ~ 6:00 CST  

The two teams shouldn't have any problems with a sunny outfield and shadows covering the infield at the first pitch is at 6:05 CST. Cardinals rookie Luke Weaver (1-2/3.86 ERA) will face Pirates Ryan Vogelsong (3-4/3.56 ERA). This will be Weaver's first appearance against the Pirates. And, this will be the first Vogelsong has faced the Cardinals this season. I, for one, am very happy to see him back in the rotation. On May 23, this season, he took a 92 MPH fastball HBP to the head, to his left eye and had to be carted off the field. Surgery followed to repair facial damages. He returned to the Pirates rotation early August. So, personally, yes - it is very good to know he is back to the mound. Thus far, Weaver has held a 4.80 on the road. Lefties have hit him for a .355 BA; but he has held right-handers to a .200 average. Vogelsong is 0-3 at home; but, he holds a 2.55 ERA. He has held right-handers to a .202 BA; but, allowed lefties a .284. His last stand at home, August 21 against the Miami Marlins, he went 6 IP/1 HR/1 RBI/2-BB with five strikeouts. The Cardinals have faced him before and know, they have to be on their game. 

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