|4:05 PM PT5:05 PM MT6:05 PM CT7:05 PM ET19:05 ET23:05 GMT7:05 4:05 PM MST6:05 PM EST6:35 PM VEN3:05 UAE (+1)6:05 PM CT, September 7, 2019
PNC Park, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Attendance: 23,996
Pirates look to trip up Cardinals again
The Pittsburgh Pirates, on paper, looked like a good team for St. Louis to face this weekend as the Cardinals attempt to pad their lead in the National League Central.
The Pirates had just lost two of three to the Miami Marlins, owners of the worst record in the NL. The Cardinals had won eight in a row against the Pirates as well as all six games at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, site of this series.
Yet the NL Central basement-dwelling Pirates go into Saturday's game against the Cardinals with some confidence after they came from behind with a six-run seventh inning Friday to open the series with a 9-4 win.
"Coming off a tough series against the Marlins, we didn't really play as well as we should have or as well as we could, so we tried to turn it around right here," Pirates second baseman Adam Frazier told AT&T Sportsnet after the game.
Frazier had a two-run triple Friday, has reached base safely in 16 straight games, and has a double, two triples, two homers and seven RBIs in his past five contests.
"St. Louis is still in it. They're fighting for a lot. So we've got to bring it each and every day. The season's not over, so we're still trying to get better," Frazier said.
On Saturday, St. Louis right-hander Adam Wainwright (10-9, 4.30 ERA) is scheduled to start against Pittsburgh left-hander Steven Brault (4-3, 3.88).
Wainwright will tie a career high with his fifth start in one season against Pittsburgh. He is 15-7 with a 4.33 ERA in 41 career appearances, 35 of them starts, vs. the Pirates, including 2-0 with a 4.09 ERA in the four starts this year.
On Monday, Wainwright pitched seven scoreless, four-hit innings in a 3-1 win over the San Francisco Giants.
He credited the strong outing on a trip down memory lane -- beforehand, he watched video from some of his best games over the past decade.
"Just kind of rechanneled that focus that I had, that attack mentality I used to have," Wainwright told reporters. "I had sort of gotten away from that (over a few starts) and I wanted to attack. Try to be me."
Brault is coming off one of the biggest games of his career. Not just because he got the win Sunday at Colorado by giving up two runs (one earned) on four hits in 6 1/3 innings, but even more so because he belted his first career homer, and a booming one at that.
"Probably the homer just because I don't get to do that very often," Brault said when asked which feat meant more. "It's the first home run I've hit in a long time, so I would probably say that's cooler. But the pitching performance was also fun."
Brault has settled in pretty well as more than just a default member of the rotation, which has been hit hard by injuries. He is 3-2 with a 3.38 ERA in his 15 starts and has allowed just 23 runs, 21 of them earned, over his past 13 outings.
Against the Cardinals, Brault is 0-1 with a 5.52 ERA in 10 career appearances, four of them starts. This year, he is 0-1 with a 9.90 ERA in three outings vs. St. Louis, two of them starts.
--Field Level Media
Updated September 7, 2019