Cards-Pirates game rained out after 2 innings
PITTSBURGH (AP) — 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.