Pirates top Cardinals, 5-2, on Davis' homer; Alvarez, McCutchen hurt
Ike Davis understands why he has lost playing time to Pedro Alvarez.
“Petey hit something like five home runs in two days,” Davis said with a smile. “He deserves to play. You can't really argue with that.”
In a tense eighth inning Tuesday, Davis made a case that maybe he has earned another look. He smacked a pinch-hit, three-run, homer that lifted the Pirates to a 5-2 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals.
Alvarez and Andrew McCutchen left the game early with injuries.
McCutchen departed in the sixth inning after he aggravated the left rib injury that put him on the disabled list from Aug. 4-19.
“I'm not 100 percent,” McCutchen said. “I don't want to push it and make it worse. I'm not fully healed, so there are going to be days when I'm a little more sore. Today, I was more sore. It didn't help when I jumped into that wall.”
With two outs in the third inning, Matt Carpenter hit a fly ball to deep center field. McCutchen caught it, then slammed his back into the outfield wall. McCutchen doubled over for a long moment, then slowly jogged to the dugout.
McCutchen said he expects to play Wednesday when the Pirates and Cardinals wrap up their three-game series at PNC Park.
Alvarez started at first base and was replaced by Gaby Sanchez to start the top of the seventh. Alvarez left with what manager Clint Hurdle described as a sprain between two of Alvarez's toes.
If Alvarez needs down time, Davis could get more at-bats. Davis has not started a game since Aug. 19, but he doesn't seem fazed by his backup status.
“I'm fine,” Davis said. “You kind of get immune to stuff after a while. It's kind of been my career — starting, not starting — so I'm used to it.”
Pirates starting pitcher Gerrit Cole had a close call in the fifth inning when Oscar Tavares' liner smacked off his right ankle. The ball caromed to second baseman Neil Walker, who threw out Tavares. Cole stayed in the game but wasn't quite as effective. Kolten Wong broke up Cole's no-hit bid with a two-out double in the sixth.
After yielding Matt Adams' double and Jhonny Peralta's single to open the seventh, Cole was replaced by lefty Tony Watson. Cole allowed two runs, three hits and a walk. He struck out nine.
“I felt good. I just wish I was more efficient,” said Cole, who threw 108 pitches in six-plus innings. “I was out of bullets there toward the end.”
Watson (9-1) could not hold the 2-0 lead in the seventh. Jon Jay's sacrifice fly scored Adams. Back-to-back singles by Tavares and pinch hitter Randal Grichuk tied the game 2-2.
In the eighth, Sanchez and Starling Marte singled off Seth Maness (5-3). With two outs, Davis yanked a changeup over the wall in right center field.
“He left the changeup a little higher than he wanted, and I hit it pretty well,” Davis said. “I knew right away (it was out).”
The Pirates took a 1-0 lead in the fourth. Walker drew a leadoff walk, then went to third on Russell Martin' single.
Alvarez struck out looking at a fastball from starter Lance Lynn. Marte was hit by a pitch, loading the bases. Clint Barmes' bouncer to third was too slow for the Cardinals to turn a double play. Barmes beat the throw to first base, and Walker scored.
Harrison led off the fifth with his 12th home run, which landed in the left-field bleachers.
Rob Biertempfel is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at email@example.com or via Twitter @BiertempfelTrib.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pirates bench coach Jeff Banister named Rangers manager
- Pirates will implement price increase for 2015 tickets
- Pirates face mound of decisions in offseason
- Pirates organization to continue pursuing value free agents in offseason
- Pirates notebook: Team wary of Polanco, Marte playing full winter season
- Sound familiar? Pirates enter offseason trying to solidify 1B position
- Pirates GM Huntington believes his coaching staff will return intact