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Pirates take series with another walk-off

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The Pirates walked-off the Cardinals for the second time in three games Sunday afternoon, with Adam Frazier delivering the game-winning single to cap a 4-3 win.

Here are the notes of a game that had plenty of firsts.

THE BIG STORY

Frazier’s ninth inning liner was the second year player’s first major league walk-off hit, but that was just one of three notable “firsts” Sunday. The first “first” came in the third inning when pitcher Trevor Williams picked up his first major league hit. The other was third baseman Max Moroff’s first major league home run.

“It [was] a good game for firsts, I guess,” Frazier said. “Glad we could get the win, also.”

Williams started his major league career 0-22 at the dish, but that changed with a bloop to right. He said afterwards he is still having trouble identifying major league pitches, but he knew he hit a fastball.

“I had a ‘holy cow’ moment, ‘I hit it,’” Williams said. “And then, I had a ‘holy cow, I’m going to get thrown out at first base if I don’t run.’”

Moroff hit his first big league home run- a line drive off the foul pole in right- on the first pitch of the fifth inning. Moroff was leading AAA with 13 home runs before his promotion on June 2, but he has struggled in the majors, entering play hitting .083 (4-48).

“Hit the ball on the barrel for the first time in awhile. It felt good,” Moroff said.

Moroff said he knew it was long enough off the bat, but he did not know if would stay fair. Once the ball hit the pole, things start to become fuzzy for him.

“I don’t remember rounding the bases or anything,” Moroff said. “The last thing I remember is celebrating with everyone in the dugout.”

HOW THEY SCORED

Andrew McCutchen singled home Frazier for the first run of the game in the first. Matt Carpenter doubled home a run in the fifth to tie it at one, but Moroff gave the Pirates the lead again in the home half with a homer.

Cardinals’ starter Carlos Martinez hit a broken bat single to plate the tying run in the sixth. Yadier Molina gave St. Louis their first lead of the day with a solo shot to left field in the eighth.

Jordy Mercer tied the game up in the ninth with a one out double to left, scoring Josh Harrison from second. Frazier played the hero with two outs in the inning after the Cardinals intentionally walked pinch-hitter David Freese.

MOMENT THAT MATTERED

The ninth got started when Cardinals’ shortstop Paul DeJong could not field Francisco Cervelli’s grounder to his left. Cervelli was lifted for the pinch-runner Harrison, who scored the tying run on Mercer’s double.

TOE THE RUBBER

Williams did a lot of bending, but did not break. He was tagged for 10 hits in 5.2 innings of work, including at least one in every inning. He also walked two and struck out five, but he only allowed two runs.

“We got singled to death,” Williams said. “We had a lot of balls go through the infield. We had a lot of infield hits. It was just kind of an unfortunate day.”

Williams threw 20 first pitch strikes out of the 27 batters he faced and retired eight on three pitches or less.

The Pirates turned to Daniel Hudson to finish the sixth and then Tony Watson in the seventh. Juan Nicasio allowed a run in the eighth before Wade LeBlanc’s (4-2) scoreless ninth.

Martinez allowed two earned runs in seven innings on five hits and a walk. He struck out five. Brett Cecil blew his fifth save of the year and fell to 1-3.

I SPY

Cardinals’ rookie Magneuris Sierra going 4-4, including 3-3 against Williams. It was tough luck for WIlliams because all three hits were infield singles.

LINE OF THE NIGHT

Adam Frazier: 2-4, R, RBI, HBP

ON DECK

The Pirates will welcome the first place Brewers for a four game set starting Monday. Chad Kuhl (3-6, 4.96) will try to continue his late first half success against Brent Suter (1-1, 2.96).

NUMB3RS

1. Frazier is hitting .375 (33-88) in day games this season. The Pirates are 10-6 in PNC Park day games this year.

2. Williams has allowed three runs or fewer in six straight starts and in 11 out of his last 12 outings.

3. Molina is the first right-handed batter to homer off of Nicasio since Adrian Beltre on May 28, 2016.

 

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