Hayes’ homer sparks Pirates past Cardinals, 7-5
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Ke’Bryan Hayes hit a go-ahead three-run homer in the seventh inning and the Pittsburgh Pirates rallied past the St. Louis Cardinals 7-5 on Friday night.
Hayes finished off a three-hit night by sending the first pitch he saw from Giovanny Gallegos (1-3) into the left-field bleachers to give the Pirates the lead. Josh Palacios followed two pitches later with his first career home run as Pittsburgh won its third straight.
Carlos Santana had three hits for the Pirates, including a two-run double during a six-run seventh. Andrew McCutchen singled twice to boost his career hits total to 1,998.
Yohan Ramirez (1-0) earned the win after striking out Tommy Edman with the bases full in the top of the seventh. David Bednar worked around a two-out single in the ninth by Paul DeJong for his 11th save.
Nolan Arenado had three hits, including his 10th home run of the season, for St. Louis. Paul Goldschmidt added three hits and Brendan Donovan belted a two-run shot for the Cardinals during a five-run third inning, but St. Louis squandered several chances to break it open.
The Cardinals loaded the bases in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings, but failed to score each time. St. Louis left 12 men on in all.
Pittsburgh took advantage in the seventh. Tucupita Marcano led off with a double and McCutchen and Jack Suwinski walked to load the bases with one out. Santana followed by lacing a ground-rule double to left to pull Pittsburgh within two.
Hayes, dropped to seventh in the batting order for just the second time this season, followed by turning on an 87 mph slider and sending it 421 feet to put Pittsburgh in front. Palacios matched Hayes two pitches later with a shot over the 21-foot high Clemente Wall in right to give the bullpen a little bit of a cushion.
St. Louis arrived in Pittsburgh surging after a 15-8 stretch to finish May that thrust them into the fringe of contention in the muddled NL Central. The Pirates remained in the mix too despite an 8-18 May that sapped much of the juice from their 20-8 start.
St. Louis has dominated Pittsburgh at PNC Park in recent years and it looked as though it would be more of the same after the Cardinals tagged 23-year-old Pirates starter Roansy Contreras for five runs in the third, all with two outs. Donovan’s two-run blast made it 2-0 and Arenado pushed it to 5-0 three batters later.
Contreras lasted just four innings in his return to the rotation following a brief stint in the bullpen, allowing five runs on seven hits and six strikeouts.
St. Louis starter Jack Flaherty worked 5 1/3 innings, surrendering one on six hits with a walk and six strikeouts, but the Cardinals’ bullpen faltered against a team that entered the night 0-22 when trailing after six innings.
Cardinals: Placed OF Lars Nootbaar on the 10-day injured list retroactive to May 29 with a lower-back contusion. … LF Tyler O’Neill (lower back strain) has paused all physical activity for 10 days, the third time his rehab has stalled. … OF Dylan Carlson (sprained left ankle) is expected to begin a rehab assignment at Triple-A Memphis next week.
Pirates: Velasquez (right elbow discomfort) remains in a holding pattern while the team decides next steps. Velasquez exited after two innings in a 5-0 loss to Seattle on May 27.
The series continues Saturday when Jordan Montgomery (2-6, 4.48 ERA) faces Luis Ortiz (1-2, 4.35). St. Louis has lost each of Montgomery’s last nine starts.
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