Lance Lynn was brilliant Friday night and the offense provided just enough support to help the Cardinals to a series opening win over the Pirates.
Lynn gave up only one earned run in seven innings of work -- and that should have never happened. Two pitches into the first inning he gave up a long fly ball to centerfield and Skip Schumaker appeared to have a bead on it. But Schumaker got turned around and the ball eluded his glove as he crashed in the wall. Schumaker sat, dazed, on the warning track as Alex Presley circled the bases with the second inside the park home run in PNC Park.
In total, Lynn allowed four hits and one walk while striking out four.
The Redbirds tied the game in the top of the second when Carlos Beltran reached on an error and Yadier stroked a double to left field. Beltran tried to score and should have easily been thrown out at the plate. But Pirates shortstop Clint Barmes made one of the most terrible relay throws in recorded history, spiking the ball into the ground off-line.
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St. Louis took the lead in the fifth when Lynn led off with a single and Matt Carpenter walked to push him to second. Matt Holliday hit into a fielder's choice with the out made at second base. Then Beltran singled through the right side to make drive home Lynn and make the score 2-1.
Daniel Descalso gave the Cardinals an insurance run in the top of the ninth with a solo home run. Then Shane Robinson reached on an error and Rafael Furcal drove him home to put the Birds up by the final 4-1 score.
Schumaker left the game after his ill-fated play in center field. He threw the ball a couple of time in front of manager Mike Matheny and the training staff and appeared to say that he wanted to stay in the game. But Matheny over-ruled him and Schumaker was out of the game. A short while later it was revealed that Schumaker wasn't injured but that the wind was knocked out of him when he hit the ground.
Cardinals Star of the Game: Lynn
Cardinals Play of the Game: Descalso's homer.
Lowlight: The Cardinals stranded eight runners on base and had trouble pushing runs across. But they eventually broke through for enough support.