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Justin Morneau’s first RBI as a Pirate proves to be the difference in win over the Cubs

Sep 15, 2013, 6:05 PM EDT

Justin Morneau AP

It took 14 games and 50 trips to the plate, but first baseman Justin Morneau finally got his first RBI as a member of the Pirates this afternoon. His one-out, eighth-inning single to left drove in Andrew McCutchen to put the Buccos up 3-2. Morneau has yet to homer with his new club, and he even entered the afternoon slugging just .310 since switching jerseys.

The Pirates went up 2-0 early, scoring once in the first on a wild pitch, and once again in the fourth on a solo home run by Tony Sanchez. Starter Francisco Liriano held the Cubs scoreless through sixth and came out for the seventh, but quickly ran into trouble. Following Junior Lake‘s lead-off single, Welington Castillo drove a two-run home run to left to tie the game. Fortunately for the Pirates, Morneau was able to play the role of hero. Mark Melancon pitched a perfect ninth to notch his 16th save of the season, lowering his ERA to 1.07 in the process.

The Cardinals also won, 12-2 over the Mariners, so the Pirates remain tied in first place atop the NL Central at 87-62.

  1. moogro - Sep 15, 2013 at 6:28 PM

    Morneau on the Rats makes rooting for them to win it all even easier.

  2. apkyletexas - Sep 15, 2013 at 6:55 PM

    Morneau needs to pull it together. He lost his start to Gaby Sanchez today, and might continue to lose starts since Sanchez has a .290 BA since the beginning of August. If Garrrett Jones continues to rake against right-handers like he has the past few games, Morneau could be at risk of becoming a bench player.

  3. perryt200 - Sep 16, 2013 at 12:42 AM

    Who would you rather be now?

    The Bucs that win 3-2 over the Mighty Cubs with at guy that finally hits an RBI in 14 games and 50 trips to the plate.

    Or the Cards that just beat the Mariners 12-2

    I understand the underdog factor. But sometimes the dog just gets run over by the school bus.

    And with the playoffs in sight, StL is gonna show that school is in session.

    • florida76 - Sep 16, 2013 at 8:14 AM

      In terms of head to head competition, I seem to recall it was the Pirates driving the school bus, and the Cards getting run over during the regular season series. Also, this Pirate club has not only destroyed the streak, but has won more games at this calendar date than the 1990-92 teams.

    • apkyletexas - Sep 16, 2013 at 9:29 AM

      Lame comment.

      The Bucs won 3 out of 4 from the Mariners this year, including a 9-4 shellacking in Seattle. Your game last night was at home.

      Considering that the Cards’ last three games included a 4-1 loss to Seattle and a 5-3 loss to the Brewers, I wouldn’t be beating my chest.

    • kozy21 - Sep 16, 2013 at 9:34 AM

      Well, seeing as the Pirates faced Travis Wood (he of a 3.05 ERA) and the Cardinals scored their runs off 4 pitchers with an average ERA of 6.77, I don’t think you’re argument has much merit. You’re cherrypicking big time. The Pirates have won 6 of 7. The Cardinals pitching has been suspect lately. I wouldn’t get too cocky.

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