ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis rookie Jordan Walker’s hitting streak ended at 12 games when he went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts in the Cardinals’ 5-0 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates on Thursday night.
The 20-year-old tied the record for longest hitting streak at the start of a career by a player 20 or younger, set by Eddie Murphy, who hit in 12 straight games with the Philadelphia Athletics from Aug. 26, 1912, to Sept. 5, 1912. The longest streak at the start of a career, regardless of age, is 17 by Chuck Aleno of the 1941 Cincinnati Reds and David Dahl of the 2016 Colorado Rockies.
“He’s done a nice job and played in every game,” St. Louis manger Oliver Marmol said. “When you’re going through a streak like that, the last thing you want to do is give the guy a day off. He did a nice job of handling everything that came with this debut and carrying it on to today. He should be proud of what he’s accomplished.”
Carlos Santana doubled twice, and Connor Joe and Rodolfo Castro hit consecutive homers in the eighth against Génesis Cabrera. The Pirates have multiple homers in five games this season, going 5-0.
“Our offense had a nice solid approach all night,” Pittsburgh manager Derek Shelton said.
Vince Velasquez (1-2) allowed three hits in six innings, struck out three and walked two. He was coming off an 11-5 loss to the Chicago White Sox in which he gave up five runs in 2 2/3 innings.
“It was more sticking with the plan of attack,” Velasquez said. “Sometimes, we tend to deviate from the plan and change things up. I don’t look excited, but I’m pretty excited. Against a team like this, you’ve to build on this. Making a statement like this is phenomenal for us. To throw a shutout against these guys is something.”
Shelton was impressed.
“He was sharp. He went right at a really good lineup,” Shelton said. “He executed pitches. Very solid.”
Jordan Montgomery (2-1) gave up two runs and six hits in 6 1/3 innings.
“I missed some spots,” Montgomery said. “I battled. I kept us in it. I want to be a horse out there.”
Andrew McCutchen and Santana in consecutive doubles in the sixth, when Gold Glove first baseman Paul Goldschmidt threw out Santana trying to score from third on Joe’s grounder. Santana is 4 for 7 with three doubles and one homer off Montgomery. It was McCutchen’s 295th career double, passing Bill Mazeroski for eight palde all-time in Pirates history.
McCutchen made it 2-0 with a sacrifice fly in the seventh off Jordan Hicks, who inherited a pair of runners.
Ke’Bryan Hayes doubled in the ninth and scored on Chris Stratton’s wild pitch.
HITTING A WALL
Pirates CF Ji Hwan Bae caught a deep fly hit by Tyler O’Neill in the fourth with runners on second and third. Bae caught the ball in full stride with an outstretched glove and then banged into the fence and fell on the track. He got up unhurt. Bae made diving catch of a shallow line drive hit by Alec Burleson for the final out in the fifth inning. “I’m really apprecaiative,” Velasquez said. “I’m probably going to buy him some lunch or take him out to dinner. Maybe buy him a bottle or something.” Through an interpreter, Bae said with a laugh: “He bought me coffee last time. He needs to buy more expensive this time.”
Cardinals: OF Lars Nootbaar (bruised left thumb) was 0 for 5 wth two strikeouts in his first game at an injury rehabiliation assignment with Double-A Springfield. He is to return Friday to St. Louis to hit against RHP Adam Wainwright (groin). Nootbar has been sidelined since a week before opening day. … OF Dylan Carlson (neck spasms) left Monday’s game with stiffness in his neck. He has missed three games.
Pirates: RHP Johan Oviedo (1-0) will make his third start of the season Friday. He was acquired from St. Louis om Aug. 2 and e is 0-1 against St. Louis. In his last start, he threw 5 2/3 scoreless innings while winning a 1-0 decision against the White Sox.
Cardinals: RHP Jake Woodford (0-2) will be making his first start against the Pirates. He earned his first big league win against Pittsburgh on Sept. 19, 2020, in a relief outing. Woodford allowed three runs over 4 2/3 innings while striking out a season-high five in dropping a 6-1 decision at Milwaukee last week