Cardinals-Pirates game rained out after 2 innings

Jake Westbrook still hasn’t figured out the Pittsburgh

Pirates.

For a day anyway, it didn’t matter.

Pittsburgh roughed up the St. Louis Cardinals veteran

righthander with four first-inning runs on Tuesday, but a violent

thunderstorm storm hit at the end of the second inning and the game

was called following a delay of 1 hour, 24 minutes with the Pirates

leading 4-2. No makeup date was immediately announced.

Westbrook began the night looking for his 100th career win

facing a team he is just 1-7 against. Those numbers didn’t appear

to get any better after the Pirates turned five consecutive singles

into four runs.

The cancellation Westbrook to reset his ERA to this season 0.00

and buy him some time to get a handle on the Pirates.

”It was just one of those things that I wasn’t as sharp as I

needed to be,” Westbrook said.

Westbrook added it’s a little strange his nemesis is a team that

isn’t exactly known for its firepower.

”I wish I could put my finger on it,” he said. ”I think I had

this conversation last year … it’s not like we don’t face these

guys again. I’ve got to do my work to figure out what I need to do

to get these guys out. I’ve got to make better pitches.”

Manager Mike Matheny said there are no plans to alter the

rotation despite the cancellation. Westbrook’s next scheduled start

is Sunday in Philadelphia. After that Westbrook would face the

Pirates in St. Louis on April 27.

Pittsburgh starter Jonathan Sanchez – who came in with a 12.96

ERA – allowed two runs in the first inning but retired the side in

order in the second.

Matt Holliday had an RBI single for St. Louis. Garrett Jones,

Neil Walker and Pedro Alvarez all had RBI singles for Pittsburgh.

None of it will count, however, and the game will be replayed in

its entirety.

The cancellation allows Pittsburgh’s depleted bullpen to get a

needed day of rest. The Pirates called up reliever Vin Mazzaro from

Triple-A Indianapolis on Tuesday for some help after starter James

McDonald managed to get through just 1 1-3 innings in a 10-6 loss

to the Cardinals on Monday, forcing long relievers Justin Wilson

and Bryan Morris to work a combined 6 1-3 innings.

Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle hoped Sanchez – who made the

team out of spring training as a non-roster invitee – would be able

work deep enough to get to the setup guys. It hasn’t been the best

start to the season for the left-hander. He was roughed up by

Arizona in his previous start, allowing nine runs in 3 1-3

innings.

It looked like more of the same in the first inning Tuesday. St.

Louis spring training star Shane Robinson made his first start of

the season and walked on four pitches to start the game. Carlos

Beltran followed with a single two pitches later and Holliday

dumped Sanchez’s next offering into center, bringing home

Robinson.

Allen Craig lined out to shortstop Clint Barmes, but the

typically solid Barmes made his second error in as many days when

his attempt to double off Beltran at second ended up in right

field.

Beltran moved to third and then scored on Yadier Molina’s

grounder to first.

Westbrook began the night 2-0 with zero earned runs charged to

him in 15 2-3 innings this season. It didn’t take long for

Pittsburgh to break through.

Jose Tabata singled with one out, the first of five straight

singles by the Pirates. A rare gaffe by the St. Louis defense

helped. With runners on first and third and one out, Russell Martin

hit a chopper back to the mound and Westbrook threw to second to

try and start a double play. Second baseman Matt Carpenter was late

covering and was charged with an error when the ball sailed into

center as Walker scored.

Both pitchers settled down in the second before the rain started

falling.

NOTES: Pittsburgh RHP Charlie Morton is expected to make a start

at extended spring training on Thursday. Morton is recovering from

Tommy John surgery. … The series wraps up Wednesday when

Pittsburgh RHP A.J. Burnett (0-2, 3.71 ERA) faces Shelby Miller

(2-0, 1.46). … Before the game, the Pirates held a moment of

silence for victims of the Boston Marathon bombings.