The Pirates 4-1 loss Thursday night in the opener of a four game series with the St. Louis was a night highlighted by missed opportunities.
The Pirates failed to capitalize early at the plate, and he Cardinals then blew the game open in the fifth with a four-run inning, three-runs unearned after a fielding error from Jordy Mercer.
The Pirates managed just five hits in the game, St. Louis only had six hits, but unlike the Pirates, they capitalized.
Pittsburgh didn’t get on the board until Andrew McCutchen’s solo home run in the ninth.
“We missed out on some opportunities, centerfielder Andrew McCutchen said afterwards.
The most costly mistake was in the first inning on a base-running gaffe by Gregory Polanco at third base who failed to run on contact when Andrew McCutchen hit a grounder to the left side as Polanco was on third and Neil Walker was on first with no outs.
Instead of running on contract, Polanco froze for a few seconds and then decided to go home where he was out on a close play at the plate.
Hurdle after the game called it a base running “gaffe” and in the fourth inning the Pirates again failed to capitalize with a runner at third base, this time runners at second and third with no outs.
Pedro Alvarez who is hitting .205 on the season with runners in scoring position, hit a low soft liner to the pitcher and Carlos Martinez snagged it and quickly went to third doubling the Pirates up.
“We had an opportunity to push a run in the first and push a run in the fourth,” Hurdle said. After the fourth, the Pirates were unable to get to Martinez.
“He made pitches,” Hurdle said of Martinez.