ST. LOUIS — Jack Flaherty’s first start of the season did not go as he or the Cardinals had hoped.
Flaherty talked the Cardinals into allowing him to start Wednesday night’s game against the Pirates at Busch Stadium instead of making another rehab start in Memphis.
He reached his predetermined plan of throwing 60 pitches, but the plan wasn’t to throw 31 of them in the first inning, and 50 in the first two innings, giving up four runs, as the Pirates won the final game of the series to snap their nine-game losing streak.
Only two of the runs were earned, thanks to Flaherty’s own throwing error and one by Yadier Molina, both wild throws to first on bunts. The Pirates had three hits, while Flaherty issued two walks, hit a batter and recorded three strikeouts.
The Cardinals came back from the 4-0 deficit to tie the game before Andre Pallante allowed a two-run homer to Bryan Reynolds in the seventh.
Here is how the game broke down:
At the plate: Dylan Carlson homered in the second before the Cardinals tied the game with three runs in the fifth, the big blow a two-run double by Brendan Donovan … After getting four hits on Tuesday night, Donovan had three more hits and reached a fourth time when he was hit by a pitch as he raised his average to .341 … The Cardinals were just 1-of-10 with runners in scoring position and also had a runner thrown out trying to steal, Tommy Edman.
On the mound: Flaherty’s best inning was his last, in the third, when he got three consecutive ground balls in a 10-pitch inning …Of his 60 pitches, 37 of them were strikes … Johan Oviedo worked 2 1/3 scoreless innings before Pallante relieved. He allowed a two-out single in front of the home run from Reynolds … T.J. McFarland retired the final four batters in order.
Key stat: In the four-game series against the Pirates, Goldschmidt was a combined 10-of-16 with four homers and two doubles, driving in nine runs. He also drew three walks.
Worth noting: To open a roster spot for Flaherty’s return from the 60-day injured list, Memphis catcher Ali Sanchez was designated for assignment and pitcher Packy Naughton was optioned to Memphis … The top prospect in the farm system, Jordan Walker, hit a walkoff homer for Springfield on Wednesday night, his seventh homer of the year.
Looking ahead: After Thursday’s day off, the Cardinals begin a seven-game trip on Friday night with a thre-game series against the Red Sox in Boston. Adam Wainwright will make the 371st start of his career in the opener, but it will be his first in the regular season at Fenway Park. This will give Wainwright at least one start in 31 stadiums. Former Cardinal Michael Wacha will start for the Red Sox.