PITTSBURGH • For the second time in three days, normally sure-handed Cardinals shortstop Paul DeJong mishandled a potentially inning-ending forceout at second base Friday night and the mistake turned into a disastrous, multi-run inning.
Pittsburgh caught and then passed the Cardinals with a six-run burst in the seventh. The Pirates added two in the eighth to speed off to a 9-4 win, their first over the Cardinals in seven games at PNC Park this season.
The rally in the seventh came after after Tommy Edman’s second homer of the game had sparked a two-run Cardinals flurry in the top of the inning.
Reliever John Gant allowed a leadoff single to Pirates pinch hitter Cole Tucker in the seventh and walked Kevin Newman with one out. Lefthander Andrew Miller relieved to strike out switch-hitter Bryan Reynolds and remained in to face righthanded-hitting Starling Marte, who grounded up the middle.
DeJong made the reception and in a continuous motion was going to flip to second baseman Kolten Wong for the final out. But DeJong, who had made two stellar players earlier, couldn’t get a grip on the ball and he belatedly floated a throw, almost shoving it, to try to get the sliding Newman. It was too late.
With the bases loaded, Josh Bell’s blooper to right landed just outside the reach of first baseman Paul Goldschmidt, two runs scored and the Pirates were within 4-3.
Pinch hitter Melky Cabrera lined a single past DeJong to tie the game. That was all for Miller, who gave way to righthander John Brebbia, who had no more success. Jose Osuna singled to put the Pirates ahead and Adam Frazier tripled to move them farther ahead at 7-4.
Marte's two-run single off Mike Mayers put the game out of realistic reach in the eighth.
EDMAN HITS SECOND HR; CARDS LEAD 4-1
Tommy Edman, who has played himself into a regular job, it not necessarily a regular position for the Cardinals, is not only versatile in the field and a fleet runner who has been thrown out only once in 12 stolen-base attempts. He also has surprising power.
The lithe, 5-foot-10 Edman, who has been up less than half a season, ripped not only his sixth homer of the year, a two-run shot in the second inning, but he added a long solo homer, his seventh, in the seventh to help stretch a tenuous Cardinals 2-1 lead into a 4-1 cushion.
The switch-hitting rookie connected off Richard Rodriguez with one out in the seventh. Then, the Cardinals tacked on another run when Harrison Bader walked and pinch hitter Matt Carpenter doubled into the right-field corner, sending Bader flying home from first.
MIKOLAS CONTROL STREAK ENDS AT 43
Miles Mikolas’ Cardinals club-record streak of consecutive starts in which he had issued two walks or fewer ended at 43 in the fourth inning Friday night when he walked two Pittsburgh hitters, running his game total to three at that point. It would grow to four.
Those two-out passes in the fourth plus a single by Jose Osuna loaded the bases with two outs but the righthander retired Jacob Stallings on a fly to right to preserve the Cardinals’ 2-1 lead. Mikolas hadn't walked more than two in a game since July 4 of last year when he walked four at Arizona.
The Cardinals threatened in the fifth but left fielder Bryan Reynolds raced into left center, in the deepest part of PNC Park, to make a tumbling catch on Dexter Fowler’s drive, which likely would have been a triple.
Mikolas, off form, walked still another hitter in the fifth but, on his 99th pitch, whiffed Josh Bell, who had two career homers off him, stranding two runners. It was still 2-1.
EDMAN'S TWO-RUN HR GIVES CARDS EARLY LEAD
Tommy Edman ran Pittsburgh Pirates rookie Alex McRae into a 10-pitch at-bat in the second inning Friday night. Finally, on pitch 10, Edman wore down the righthander. Edman sent a fastball over the 21-foot Clemente Wall and into the right-field seats for a 2-0 St. Louis lead.
Edman’s sixth homer followed a leadoff single by Paul DeJong, who lined a ball off the glove of third baseman Colin Moran.
The Pirates got one of those runs back in the third against Cardinals starter Miles Mikolas. Adam Frazier singled past Mikolas’ glove for the Pirates’ first hit. Mikolas fanned the next two hitters but Kevin Newman doubled to left center on a 3-2 delivery, chasing home Frazier, who had been off with the pitch.
Bryan Reynolds grounded sharply to second baseman Kolten Wong, who made a good stop but then threw wide of first where Paul Goldschmidt made an adroit catch and tag of Reynolds.
The Cardinals put two men on in the first when Wong singled to center, where Starling Marte missed a sliding attempt, and Goldschmidt, a .387 hitter against the Pirates this year, drew a full-count walk.
But Marcell Ozuna, two for 31 and hitless in seven of his last eight games, tapped into a double play started by third baseman Moran.
CARDINALS TRY FOR SEASON SWEEP
The Cardinals enter a three-game series with the Pittsburgh Pirates here this weekend trying for their first season sweep on the road of the Pirates since 1965. That year the Cardinals were 9-0 at Forbes Field and they are 6-0 at PNC Park this year before Friday night’s game.
First baseman Paul Goldschmidt has had much to do with the Cardinals’ overall 12-4 mark against the Pirates by hitting seven homers and batting .387 with 24 hits in 62 at-bats this season.
Miles Mikolas, making a staff high 29th start, is seeking his ninth win. The Cardinals have employed only seven starters this season, tying their lowest for this century. The 2005 club employed only seven starters, with Cal Eldred and Anthony Reyes making one apiece.
The 2000 club used only six, with Britt Reames making seven and Darryl Kile, Garrett Stephenson, Pat Hengten, rookie Rick Ankiel and Andy Benes the rest, ranging from Kile’s 34 to 27 for Benes.
The Cardinals have a major-league-best 35-17 (.673) mark since the All-Star break.
Pittsburgh has changed its starter from Musgrove, who has a right foot injury, to Alex McRae.
1. Dexter Fowler rf
2. Kolten Wong 2b
3. Paul Goldschmidt 1b
4. Marcell Ozuna lf
5. Paul DeJong ss
6. Yadier Molina c
7. Tommy Edman 3b
8. Harrison Bader cf
9. Miles Mikolas p
1. Kevin Newman ss
2. Bryan Reynolds lf
3. Starling Marte cf
4. Josh Bell 1b
5. Colin Moran 3b
6. Jose Osuna rf
7. Adam Frazier 2b
8. Jacob Stallings c
9. Alex McRae p