PITTSBURGH (93.7 The Fan) - When the Pirates gave up five runs in the top of the third inning, the chances of them staying within a half game of the first place Brewers was very slim, but thanks to a six run seventh inning, the Pirates came out victorious 7-5.
In the top of the seventh inning the Cardinals loaded the bases with a 5-1 lead and a chance to blow the door wide open. A hard ground ball hit to Carlos Santana resulted in a fielders choice at the plate to erase Nolan Arenado from scoring and then Tommy Edman hit a screamer to Jack Suwinski as Cody Bolton and Yohan Ramirez escaped the jam.
"Our bullpen did a heck of a job," said manager Derek Shelton. "They got into the right matchups, they executed pitches, we got into a little bit of a jam and were able to work ourselves out of it and kept the game right there. Our bullpen was outstanding tonight."
The Pirates loaded the bases in the bottom of the seventh inning setting up an opportunity to chip away at the Cardinals 5-1 lead. Carlos Santana ripped a ground rule double to left field to cut the score 5-3. Then Ke'Bryan Hayes hit a three run home run to give the Pirates a 6-5 lead. Josh Palacios followed that with his first career homer as the Pirates completed a six run inning to go up 7-5.
David Bednar slammed the door in the top of the ninth inning recording his 11th save of the season.
"We kept grinding," said Shelton. "I mean I think that's the one thing we've seen about this team is regardless of what happens they continue to play hard, and they did and they got rewarded for it."
McCutchen inching closer to 2,000
Andrew McCutchen came into the game Friday just five hits away from 2,000 career hits. He went 2-4 in the game and is now just three hits away from the milestone. McCutchen would become the ninth Pirate to reach 2,000 hits.