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Crowe gets 1st win, Pirates send Cards to 18th loss in 24

June 26, 2021 GMT
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Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Wil Crowe throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals, Friday, June 25, 2021, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Joe Puetz)
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Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Wil Crowe throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals, Friday, June 25, 2021, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Joe Puetz)

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Wil Crowe gave up four runs over five innings for his first major league win, and the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the St. Louis Cardinals 5-4 on Friday night for their fifth victory in seven games following a 10-game losing streak.

Jacob Stallings and Phillip Evans drove in two runs each for the Pirates.

“We had a couple of chances to blow it open, didn’t do that and even more importantly, the fact that that we had to continue to grind, we had runners on base, we had to make plays,” Pirates manager Derek Shelton said. “Yeah, that was a hard-fought win.”

St. Louis has lost five straight, seven of eight and 18 of 24, dropping a season-worst four games under .500 at 36-40. The Cardinals are fourth in the NL Central, seven games back of first-place Milwaukee.

“We’re all kind of like scuffing at the same time, and that’s tough,” Cardinals third baseman Nolan Arenado said. “Usually, you have some people keeping you afloat … right now it seems like we’re all kind of scuffling at the same time.”

Crowe (1-4), was making his 13th big league start and 14th appearance. The 26-year-old right-hander debuted last Aug. 22.

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“I felt like it was a monkey on my back,” Crowe said. “The first one, to me, it’s like it was the hardest one.”

He allowed eight hits, struck out two and walked two. Crowe gave up solo homers to Arenado in the third and Dylan Carlson in the fourth.

“There’s been games that he’s thrown the ball probably better than this,” Shelton said. “The fact that he continued to grind, it was extremely humid, you know, he did a nice job.”

Clay Holmes and Chasen Shreve combined for two hitless innings, Kyle Crick gave up one hit in the eighth and Richard Rodríguez pitched a perfect ninth for his 10th save in 12 chances.

Stallings’ single off Jake Woodford (1-1) broke a 4-4 tie in the fifth.

“We made good plays tonight, got some timely hits and our bullpen came in, did what they do,” Stallings said.

Starter Kwang Hyun Kim needed 70 pitches to get through 4 1/3 innings. He allowed at least one runner in each of his four full innings and gave up four runs and seven hits.

Crowe hit Kim in the chest in the second inning while Kim was attempting to bunt, which loaded the bases with one out, setting up Carlson’s RBI grounder.

Pittsburgh went ahead 4-1 in the third. Ke’Bryan Hayes had an RBI single, Stallings followed with a run-scoring grounder and Evans drove in two more as his sinking liner to right field popped out of a sliding Lars Nootbaar’s glove for a single.

“We didn’t get really any opportunities to get pitches to drive, so our guys did a good job of just putting the ball in play and continued to grind out at-bats,” Shelton said.

Arenado hit his 250th home run leading off the third, and Yadier Molina doubled, swiped third for his first stolen base since 2019 and scored on Nootbaar’s single.

Carlson’s opposite-field homer to left tied the game 4-4 in the fourth, his seventh home run this season and first in Busch Stadium.

“We had 12 men left on base,” Cardinals manager Mike Shildt said. “We clearly would have liked to do some damage in that situation, you know, 1 for 9 (with runners in scoring position). That’s not the consolation prize, but there were a lot of positive signs from the offense.”

MOVING UP

Molina’s double in the third was his 2,049th hit, moving past Johnny Bench for No. 8 among catchers.

STREAKING

Hayes has reached base safely in 29 straight games dating to Sept. 19, 2020, the longest current streak in the major leagues and the longest for the Pirates since Jason Bay’s 29 in 2005.

SLOW

Erik González was caught stealing for the final out of the second inning by Molina despite running on a 67.5 mph curveball from Kim. González was called safe by second base umpire Tripp Gibson, and the call was reversed in a video review.

TRAINING ROOM

Cardinals: OF Harrison Bader (right rib fracture) began a rehab at Low-A Palm Beach.

UP NEXT

The Pirates send RHP JT Brubaker (4-6, 3.77 ERA) to the mound against RHP Adam Wainwright (5-5, 3.74 ERA) and the Cardinals in the third of a four-game series on Saturday. Brubaker has been charged with two or earned runs or fewer in nine of 13 starts. Wainwright struck out 11 in his second complete game this season, a doubleheader opener at Atlanta on Sunday.

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