|St. Louis (10-4) «||0||1||0||0||1||0||0||0||2||4||8||0|
PITTSBURGH -- A detour to the bullpen has made Lance Lynn a better starting pitcher.
Filling in nicely for injured ace Chris Carpenter, Lynn (3-0) gave up four hits. He walked one and struck out four. He has won each of his starts this season and compiled a 1.42 ERA while Carpenter has been on the disabled list with a nerve problem in his pitching shoulder. Lynn pitched primarily in relief last season as a rookie when St. Louis won the World Series.
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"What I did when they moved me to the bullpen last year was challenge hitters, get ahead in the count and make them hit my pitch," Lynn said. "When I was starting, I tried to nitpick. I'd get behind in the count and have to give the hitters good pitches to hit. I learned a lot from pitching out of the bullpen. I'm more aggressive and more confident now as a starter."
Lynn showed that aggressive approach against Pittsburgh as he needed just 88 pitches to get through seven innings. He allowed four hits and one walk while striking out four.
"Efficient is the right word," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said in describing Lynn's outing. "He had good life on the ball and later in the game he really mixed in all his pitches. He had a good tempo, a good rhythm with [catcher Yadier Molina]. He really kept them off balance."
Presley led off the bottom of the first with a drive off the top of the center field fence, the ball just eluding a leaping center fielder Skip Schumaker. Jack Wilson hit the Pirates' only other inside-the-park home run at PNC Park on July 2, 2004, and the last Pittsburgh player to hit one was Freddy Sanchez at Houston on July 21, 2008.
"I wasn't expecting it," Presley said. "I thought I had a triple for sure, and when I saw him miss it, I think he got hurt out there and couldn't get up, that helped my chances a bunch. It was one of those things."
Schumaker, who said he thought he would be able to play Saturday, was shaken up on the play and left the game. He had been activated from the disabled list prior to the game after missing the first 13 games because of a strained right oblique.
"Obviously it was not the debut I was looking for," Schumaker said with a half-smile. "First of all, I should of caught the ball. Second of all, I couldn't breathe. Coming off an oblique injury and getting your ribs rattled wasn't something you wanted to do. They pulled me as a precautionary measure. I felt I could have stayed in but it is what it is."
Jose Tabata followed Presley's homer with a single but Pittsburgh never put a runner in scoring position.
"You get an inside-the-park homer and drop a single to the next guy and we ended up with two more [hits] the rest of the night," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "It was another strong outing for [Lynn]. You have to take the barrel to him. He doesn't seem like he's going to hurt himself."
Daniel Descalso homered for the NL Central-leading Cardinals, who won for the fifth time in six games.
Morton allowed two runs -- one earned -- and four hits in five innings with three walks and six strikeouts.
After St. Louis tied it in the second inning on Molina's RBI double, Lynn led off the fifth with a single. He took second on Rafael Furcal's groundout, advanced to third on Matt Holliday's fielder's choice and scored on Beltran's line hit to right field.
Descalso homered -- a liner into the right-field stands -- in the eighth off Jared Hughes to start a two-run inning. Furcal added a run-scoring double.
|Lance Lynn is again terrific, striking out four and allowing just one run over seven innings of work. (US Presswire)|
|Players of the Game|
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|St. Louis Cardinals|
|Rafael Furcal, SS||4||0||1||1||1||1||0||.356|
|Matt Carpenter, 1B||3||0||0||0||2||1||2||.290|
|Matt Holliday, LF||5||0||1||0||0||0||3||.203|
|Carlos Beltran, RF||4||1||2||1||0||0||2||.347|
|David Freese, 3B||4||0||1||0||0||1||4||.364|
|Yadier Molina, C||4||0||1||1||0||1||2||.311|
|Skip Schumaker, CF||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Erik Komatsu, CF||4||0||0||0||0||0||1||.200|
|Daniel Descalso, 2B||4||1||1||1||0||1||2||.200|
|Lance Lynn, P||3||1||1||0||0||1||0||.375|
|Mitchell Boggs, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a- Shane Robinson, PH||1||1||0||0||0||0||0||.375|
|Jason Motte, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a-grounded out for Boggs in the 9th|
|2B - Rafael Furcal (7, Hughes), Yadier Molina (6, Morton)|
|HR - Daniel Descalso (1, Hughes)|
|RBI - Rafael Furcal (7), Carlos Beltran (8), Yadier Molina (11), Daniel Descalso (3)|
|2-OUT RBI - Carlos Beltran (3)|
|Team LOB - 8|
|DP - Descalso-Furcal-M. Carpenter, Freese-Descalso-M. Carpenter|
|St. Louis Cardinals|
|Lance Lynn (W,3-0)||7||4||1||1||1||4||1||1.42|
|Mitchell Boggs (H,3)||1||0||0||0||0||2||0||1.13|
|Jason Motte (S,3)||1||0||0||0||1||0||0||1.50|
|Pitches-Strikes - Lance Lynn 86-52, Mitchell Boggs 7-7, Jason Motte 23-15|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Lance Lynn 7-7, Mitchell Boggs 1-0, Jason Motte 2-1|
|Batters Faced - Lance Lynn 23, Mitchell Boggs 3, Jason Motte 4|
|Alex Presley, LF||4||1||1||1||0||0||1||.275|
|Jose Tabata, RF||4||0||2||0||0||0||1||.150|
|Andrew McCutchen, CF||4||0||0||0||0||0||3||.367|
|Neil Walker, 2B||2||0||0||0||1||0||1||.233|
|Garrett Jones, 1B||3||0||1||0||0||1||1||.276|
|Rod Barajas, C||3||0||0||0||0||0||1||.067|
|Pedro Alvarez, 3B||3||0||0||0||0||2||0||.067|
|Clint Barmes, SS||3||0||0||0||0||2||0||.103|
|Charlie Morton, P||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.000|
|Evan Meek, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a- Yamaico Navarro, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Jared Hughes, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|b- Casey McGehee, PH||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||.290|
|a-grounded out for Meek in the 6th|
|b-walked for Hughes in the 9th|
|HR - Alex Presley (1, Lynn)|
|RBI - Alex Presley (4)|
|CS - Jose Tabata (2, 2nd base by Lynn/Molina)|
|Team LOB - 2|
|DP - Barmes-G. Jones, Alvarez-Walker-G. Jones|
|E - Clint Barmes 2 (4, Throwing), Charlie Morton (2, Missed catch of throw), Neil Walker (2, Misplayed grounder)|
|Charlie Morton (L,0-1)||5||4||2||1||3||6||0||3.60|
|Pitches-Strikes - Charlie Morton 93-59, Evan Meek 5-4, Jared Hughes 34-22|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Charlie Morton 8-2, Jared Hughes 6-3|
|Batters Faced - Charlie Morton 23, Evan Meek 3, Jared Hughes 13|
|Attendance - 23509|
|Game Time - 2:38|
|Temperature - 78|
|Umpires - Home - Jim Joyce, First Base - Jim Reynolds, Second Base - Mike DiMuro, Third Base - James Hoye|