MLB Baseball

6
Final 1 2 3   4 5 6   7 8 9   R H E
St. Louis2 0 1 0 0 3 0 0 0 690
Pittsburgh8 0 1 0 1 0 0 1 x 11142
11
  W: G. Cole (12-11)   L: L. Lynn (11-8)
4:05 PM PT5:05 PM MT6:05 PM CT7:05 PM ET19:05 ET23:05 GMT7:05 4:05 PM MST6:05 PM EST6:35 PM VEN3:05 UAE (+1)6:05 PM CT, September 23, 2017
PNC Park, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania  Attendance: 29,672

Lynn struggles in Cardinals' 11-6 loss to Pirates

(AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

By WES CROSBY

Associated Press

PITTSBURGH (AP) Lance Lynn said he felt fine. He and the St. Louis Cardinals just slipped up Saturday night.

Lynn allowed eight runs in the first inning, and the Cardinals ended a four-game winning streak with an 11-6 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Lynn (11-8) got two outs before being pulled after six hits and eight runs in his shortest outing since Aug. 13, 2015, also at Pittsburgh.

"There were a couple balls up, and then a couple things didn't go my way," Lynn said. "Unfortunately, that happens some nights. Usually, I'm able to get through it. Tonight it just kind of snowballed.

"It's that time of year where you feel good. I'm just happy I feel good, but I've got to hone it back in and make quality pitches."

St. Louis (81-73) remained 1 1/2 games behind Colorado for the second NL wild card after the Rockies lost to San Diego.

The Cardinals are five games behind the Cubs in the NL Central after Chicago lost to Milwaukee, which is a half-game ahead of the Cardinals.

Tommy Pham gave the Cardinals a 2-0 lead against Gerrit Cole (12-11) two batters into the game when he sent the first pitch of his at-bat over the center-field wall. Pham was 2 for 4 with three RBIs.

Then Pittsburgh got to Lynn. David Freese and Elias Dias each singled with the bases loaded before Jordy Mercer and Starling Marte each tripled to build an 8-2 lead. Marte also walked in the inning, and Adam Frazier doubled and walked in the inning.

"It looked like (Lynn) was just missing it," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "(He) got into bad counts, too much movement, wasn't able to make the adjustments to get back on the plate. ... Then they were in a position where they needed big hits, and they kind of stacked them together to the point where he couldn't stop the bleeding."

Marte added another Pirates run with a sacrifice fly in the third inning, Mercer made it 10-3 with a double in the fifth and Freese also doubled to make it 11-6 in the eighth.

"They know what they want to do when they get up there," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "Sometimes when it happens, it looks easy. It looks effortless."

Even with two wins in its past three games, Pittsburgh (70-85) has lost eight of its past 10.

Cole (12-11) allowed five runs and seven hits for his first win since Aug. 26. He had lost three straight decisions.

STUMBLING OUT OF THE GATE

On his 42nd pitch of the first inning, Lynn walked Frazier before Matheny pulled him in favor of reliever Josh Lucas. He had not allowed more than seven runs in a start this season.

AN UNUSUAL RECORD

Trailing 10-3 entering the sixth inning, Matheny tied a major league record by using six pinch-hitters in an inning in an apparent attempt to save his regulars for Sunday. The Cardinals scored three runs to cut the Pirates' lead to 10-6.

UP NEXT

Cardinals: RHP John Gant (0-0, 3.86) will look for his second major league win when he faces the Pirates on Sunday. His first win came June 17, 2016, against the Atlanta Braves. Gant allowed two runs in one inning his last time out on Sept. 19 after pitching five scoreless innings in his previous four appearances.

Pirates: RHP Jameson Taillon (7-7, 4.73) will attempt to put together a second consecutive strong start when he takes the mound Sunday. After allowing six runs on 11 hits in 4 2/3 innings against the Chicago Cubs on Sept. 7, he surrendered two on six hits in five innings during a 3-0 loss to the Brewers on Sept. 18.

---

More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

Updated September 24, 2017

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