Pittsburgh Takes the Lead in the NL Central
After taking two out of three games at home in their opening series with the Chicago Cubs, the Pittsburgh Pirates repeated the same feat over the past three days versus the St. Louis Cardinals, concluding the homestand with 2-1 victory this afternoon at PNC Park.
The Pirates got their first run on a Neil Walker RBI double in the fourth inning, and the decisive run was scored by Pedro Alvarez from first base with two outs in the seventh on a Tony Sanchez double to the right-center wall.
The Cardinals had only three hits in the contest, with their lone run coming on a John Jay RBI triple in the sixth.
Pittsburgh reliever Tony Watson (1-0) earned the win by pitching one and 1/3 innings of perfect relief. Closer Jason Grilli picked up his first save of the season by breezing through the ninth.
Pittsburgh starter Edinson Volquez made his first start in a Pirates uniform a memorable one. He tossed five and 2/3 innings on 81 pitches, surrendering three hits and a run while recording four strikeouts.
St. Louis star pitcher Adam Wainwright (1-1) suffered the loss. He hurled seven innings, permitting both runs on five hits, while fanning seven batters.
The Cardinals next head to Cincinnati for three games beginning tomorrow evening versus the Reds. The Pirates, meanwhile, have an off day Monday before resuming action on the road in Chicago against the Cubs.
Patrick Hattman was a long-suffering Pittsburgh Pirates fan until last year when the team had its first winning season since 1992. He is expecting another banner year from his favorite team in 2014.