for this game

Pirates rally for victory over Cards

Apr 24, 2008 - 4:48 AM By Brad Everett PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

PITTSBURGH (Ticker) -- Mired in a season-long hitting slump, Pittsburgh Pirates third baseman Jose Bautista found himself out of the starting lineup and on the bench the past two games.

Back in the lineup against the St. Louis Cardinals, Bautista began to show why the Pirates had thought of him so highly in the first place.

Bautista hit an RBI single to break an eighth-inning tie, helping the Pirates rally to beat the Cardinals, 7-4, on Wednesday night at PNC Park.

It was second come-from-behind win in a row for the Pirates, who battled back from a 2-0 deficit to defeat Florida, 3-2, on Tuesday.

"When we play good baseball, we're extremely competitive. When we play sloppy, we look awful," said Pirates infielder Doug Mientkiewicz. "For the most part, we've played two crisp games, and that's a good thing."

With two outs in the eighth inning, Bautista's single off Anthony Reyes (1-1) brought home Ryan Doumit, who had lead off the inning with a single. Mientkiewicz then came on to pinch-hit two batters later, and promptly responded with a two-run single to provide the Pirates some insurance.

Considering his woes, Bautista's big hit was all the more impressive. He came into the game hitting just .181 this season with one home run and seven RBI, and was held out the lineup the last two nights in favor of Mientkiewicz and fellow utility infielder Chris Gomez.

"It's huge," Pirates manager John Russell said. "I know he's been really pressing. It seems like there's been a lot of focus on him, whether its his offense or defense. When guys are struggling a little bit, it's easy to criticize and point fingers. But he's a very capable hitter. He's worked awfully hard."

Damaso Marte (1-0) pitched two scoreless innings to earn the win, while Matt Capps pitched a perfect ninth to notch his sixth save.

The game ended much different than it started, as the Cardinals wasted little time getting to Pirates starter Ian Snell, scoring four times off him in the first inning. Troy Glaus knocked in a pair of runs with a double, and Adam Kennedy followed two batters later with a two-run single.

But the Cardinals bats cooled soon thereafter. After igniting for seven hits in the first three innings, the Cardinals managed just two the rest of the way, as Snell and the Pirates bullpen found their groove.

"We got a lot of the runs early on, but after that, there wasn't a whole lot of opportunities," Kennedy said. "(Snell) did a great job and continued to pound the strike zone. We just didn't add on."

Snell, who has been the Pirates most effective starter this season, allowed four runs and eight hits in six innings, with four walks and one strikeout.

"That first inning I was rushing myself and got out of control," Snell said. "But I stayed focused. I didn't have to necessarily strike everybody out or do anything outrageous, just let them put the ball in play and get themselves out."

The Pirates got their offense going in the fourth inning when Doumit hit an RBI single and Xavier Nady hit a sacrifice fly to cut the deficit to 4-2. And in the next inning, Jason Bay connected on a first-pitch fastball off Cardinals starter Todd Wellemeyer, lofting it into the left field bleachers for a two-run home run to tie the score, 4-4.

"I felt like I hit it pretty good, but I felt like I got it more high than tall," said Bay, who finished 2-for-4. "Whether it's 500-feet or 380 or whatever it was out there, they all count. I was glad we held on for a win."

Wellemeyer pitched six innings, giving up four runs, seven hits and one walk with five strikeouts. He came into the game having surrendered no more than two runs in three of his four starts, but left with a no-decision for the third time in three road starts.

"He did a good job," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said. "We just scored four and they stopped us the rest of the game. They had some good at bats. Give them credit."






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    Cardinals 4, Pirates 7  FinalApr 23 10:12 PM


  • NL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    ST LOUIS 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 9 0
    PITTSBURGH 0 0 0 2 2 0 0 3 x 7 11 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: STL - TODD WELLEMEYER, RANDY FLORES (7TH), ANTHONY REYES (8TH) AND
    YADIER MOLINA
    PIT - IAN SNELL, DAMASO MARTE (7TH), MATT CAPPS (9TH)
    AND RYAN DOUMIT

    HOME RUNS:

    Apr 23 9:59 PM


  • NL
    AT PITTSBURGH - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY DOUG MIENTKIEWICZ SCORED JOSE BAUTISTA AND BRIAN
    BIXLER.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, 0 LEFT ON, 3 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 4
    PITTSBURGH 7 END BOTTOM, 8TH

    Cardinals 4, Pirates 7  Bot 8, 0 OutsApr 23 9:54 PM


  • NL
    AT PITTSBURGH - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY JOSE BAUTISTA SCORED RYAN DOUMIT.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J BAUTISTA ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 4
    PITTSBURGH 5 BOTTOM, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR PITTSBURGH: B BIXLER (.118, 0-FOR-3)

    Cardinals 4, Pirates 5  Bot 8, 0 OutsApr 23 9:47 PM
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    Cardinals 4, Pirates 4  Bot 8, 0 OutsApr 23 9:41 PM
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    Cardinals 4, Pirates 4  Top 6, 0 OutsApr 23 9:01 PM


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    AT PITTSBURGH - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY JASON BAY (4) TO LEFT WITH 1 OUT IN THE
    5TH OFF TODD WELLEMEYER SCORED FREDDY SANCHEZ.
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 4, PITTSBURGH 4
    DUE UP FOR PITTSBURGH: R DOUMIT (.339, 1-FOR-2, RBI)

    Cardinals 4, Pirates 4  Bot 5, 0 OutsApr 23 8:48 PM


  • NL
    AT PITTSBURGH - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY XAVIER NADY SCORED JASON BAY.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, R DOUMIT ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 4
    PITTSBURGH 2 BOTTOM, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR PITTSBURGH: A LAROCHE (.117, 0-FOR-0, BB)

    Cardinals 4, Pirates 2  Bot 4, 0 OutsApr 23 8:27 PM


  • NL
    AT PITTSBURGH - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY RYAN DOUMIT SCORED FREDDY SANCHEZ.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, R DOUMIT ON FIRST, J BAY ON THIRD, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 4
    PITTSBURGH 1 BOTTOM, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR PITTSBURGH: X NADY (.338, 0-FOR-1)

    Cardinals 4, Pirates 1  Bot 4, 0 OutsApr 23 8:26 PM


  • NL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    ST LOUIS 4 4 4 0
    PITTSBURGH 0 0 0 (BOT 1)

    CURRENT PITCHERS: STL - TODD WELLEMEYER
    PIT - IAN SNELL

    DUE UP FOR PITTSBURGH: N MCLOUTH (.366, 3 HR, 16 RBI)
    F SANCHEZ (.224, 0 HR, 6 RBI)
    J BAY (.254, 3 HR, 5 RBI)

    Cardinals 4, Pirates 0  Bot 1, 0 OutsApr 23 7:32 PM
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    Cardinals vs. PiratesApr 23 5:57 PM
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    Cardinals vs. PiratesApr 2 4:19 AM