Home Pittsburgh Sports College Football Rivero suffers rare loss, Pirates fall to Cardinals 4-3

Rivero suffers rare loss, Pirates fall to Cardinals 4-3

Felipe Rivero gave up the tying and go-ahead runs in the 9th inning, giving St. Louis a much needed win at PNC Park Friday night.

Botched double play cometh, and then taketh away.

St. Louis (81-72) scored the winning run on a fortuitous Dexter Fowler hit-and-run with runners at the corners and only one out.  The sharp grounder botched a would-be double play for Jordy Mercer, who could not get the speedy Tommy Pham at second, and then bobbled the ball leaving no play for Fowler who reached first safely.

“You just have to take a risk right there,” said Mercer of the play.  “That run scores, then we’re down.”

Randall Grichuk scored from third on the second run of the inning, in which both were surrendered by losing pitcher Felipe Rivero.

“He was running on the play,” continued the shortstop.  “I was trying as quick as I can.  That was the number one thing to go as quick as you can, because you want to try and get out of it without that run scoring.”

Rivero, who hadn’t pitched in a save situation since Sept. 5, gave up the tying run on a Jedd Gyorko single to center, scoring Harrison Bader from third.

“It was pretty obvious he wasn’t sharp,” said Hurdle of Rivero.  “He had hitter’s counts the first two out of three hitters, the fastball was up and out over the plate.  He wasn’t able to get the ball in spots he wanted too.”

With just nine games left in the season, the Cardinals, who currently sit 1.5 games behind Colorado for the second Wild Card slot, gathered two runs in the first two innings off starter Ivan Nova, including a Fowler single that scored Matt Carpenter to open the game.

Nova settled down, tossing 5 innings—shutting out the Cardinals in the last 3—giving up 1 earned run off 6 hits, walking 4 and striking out just 2 in 85 pitches of work.

“You are always expecting that they will make you work, and that’s how it went early,” said Nova.  “You have to be able to control yourself and make sure you complete your pitches.”

Pittsburgh (69-85) went ahead in the 7th inning when, with runners on the corners with one out, John Jaso hit into what looked like an inning ending double play, but was botched by an overthrow to second by Paul DeJong, scoring Max Moroff from third.

“That’s the collateral damage that can come from shifts.  I don’t know what happened, but it looked like just your regular play, and (DeJong) sees that the second baseman’s not where he anticipated him to be and then you get hung out,” Hurdle explained of the play.  “You got to have your head on a swivel with the defensive shifts that we have going on, because things can change from pitch-to-pitch, and if you don’t know where your partner is that can cause some complication.”

The Bucs corralled just 5 hits—3 off of starter Michael Wacha, who also gave up both earned runs on the night—failing to produce one multi-hit game.  Adam Frazier, Starling Marte and Andrew McCutchen combined to go a dismal 1-for-10 from the dish.

Wacha went 5 innings, striking out 4, while Juan Nicasio notched his first win against his former employer, rattling off 2 perfect innings to cap the game.

After the Moneyline

St. Louis came in as heavy -160 road favorites.  They have played the role of favorites in the season series with the Bucs in 13 of 16 games, losing just once.  The season series is 10-6 in favor of the Cards.

The total, which was set at 8.5 runs, just went under, marking the 6th time in the last 7 games played by the Pirates that the under has cashed.

Up Next

The Pirates will look to even things up against the Cardinals on Saturday, as Gerrit Cole (11-11, 4.13) squares up against Lance Lynn (11-7, 3.09).  First pitch is set for 7:05.

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