The Times West Virginian

Sports

April 27, 2013

Cardinals roll past Pirates, 9-1

ST. LOUIS — Cardinals starter Lance Lynn threw inside all game Friday night and pitched seven innings of one run ball.

Pittsburgh Pirates starter Jonathan Sanchez threw inside to one batter and got tossed.

Sanchez (0-3) was one of three Pirates ejected in what became a 9-1 loss. He and manager Clint Hurdle were tossed after Sanchez hit Cardinals cleanup hitter Allen Craig up high with a pitch in the first inning.

Home plate umpire Tim Timmons immediately ejected Sanchez, who had thrown just 17 pitches and did not retire a batter, after Craig was beaned. Hurdle was ejected when he came out to argue.

“It surprised me,” said Sanchez, who said he had never been ejected before. “In the first inning, I just wanted to get the ball inside and the ball started going up and it hit him. I just missed my spot.”

Sanchez missed his spot to the first two batters as well. Matt Carpenter and Beltran started the game with home runs for the Cardinals, who have won four straight and five of six. It was the first time the Cardinals went back-to-back to lead off a game since April 16, 2004, against Colorado.

Still, Sanchez believed he could have worked his way through his problems.

“I was making pitches,” Sanchez said. “The first guy (Carpenter) I got a 3-2 count and threw a fastball in the middle. I tried to throw a slider in (to Beltran) and he got his barrel up there. I missed my spot.”

Matt Holliday followed with a solid single and then Sanchez hit Craig with the next pitch.

Hurdle was disappointed that Sanchez did not get the chance to continue.

“Timmons thought he was throwing at his head and we disagreed,” Hurdle said. “You guys are going to have to figure out your own thoughts and speculate. I’m sure you already have. My comments will be made to the people that got an ear that need to hear.

“I have every belief he’s trying to pitch inside hard. He missed his spots over the plate so he’s trying to push a hitter back and he clips him. Tim didn’t see it that way.”

Definitely not.

“You got two home runs and then you got a line drive single up the middle,” Timmons told a pool reporter. “Then the very first pitch (to Craig) is up around the shoulder and head area. In that area, I deemed that intentional, and he’s done. Very dangerous.”

Jeanmar Gomez replaced Sanchez on the mound.

Pirates hitting coach Jay Bell was tossed in the fifth inning when he argued with Timmons after Pirates lead-off man Starling Marte was hit by Lynn for the second straight time. Marte said he didn’t think Lynn was trying to hit him.

Lynn (4-0) allowed just two hits while striking out nine to give him his ninth straight decision and the NL’s longest active winning streak.

Beltran homered from both sides of the plate and drove in three runs. The multi-homer game was the 35th for Beltran and his first since Sept. 30, 2012, against Washington, which is also the last time a Cardinal player homered from both sides of the plate in the same game.

After Carpenter and Beltran gave the Cardinals a quick 2-0 lead, Craig gave the Cardinals a three-run cushion with an RBI single off Gomez with one out in the third. Carpenter walked to start the fifth, and Beltran followed with a long home run to right off Gomez while batting left-handed to make it 5-0.

Craig had a two-run single as part of a four-run eighth inning.

NOTES: Carpenter’s leadoff homer was the first of his career and first by a Cardinal since Rafael Furcal did it on May 7, 2012, at Arizona. ... The Pirates Andrew McCutchen played in his 600th game Friday, and went 0-3 before leaving in the fifth as part of a double switch. ... Cardinals pitcher Jake Westbrook will seek his 100th career win when he opposes A.J. Burnett in the second game of the series Saturday. ... Sanchez saw his ERA balloon to 12.71.

 

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