ST. LOUIS (AP) — Paul Goldschmidt hit a two-run homer, Matthew Liberatore pitched five shoutout innings and Yadier Molina passed Iván Rodríguez for the most putouts by a catcher in MLB history during the St. Louis Cardinals’ 3-1 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday.
It was the first game of a day-night doubleheader, and gave the Cardinals their fourth win in five games. The Pirates dropped their season-high eighth straight.
With his 11 putouts, Molina reached the high-water mark of 14,870 putouts over his 18 seasons.
He was also front and center in a wild sequence leading to the Cardinals’ third run in the fourth inning. After reaching on an error, Molina was picked off second to end the inning. But after he and Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol argued, the umpires conferred and called a balk. That drew the ire of Pirates manager Derek Shelton, who argued but wasn’t ejected.
Nolan Gorman then walked to load the bases and Goldschmidt followed with a grounder up the middle. Gorman beat the force play at second, but ran through the base instead of sliding, which led to a lengthy rundown between second and home, allowing Molina to score before Edmundo Sosa was called out at home.
Liberatore (2-1) was called up as the Cardinals’ 27th man for the twin bill. He struck out five, walked two and gave up three hits. Giovanny Gallegos earned his ninth save in 12 chances with a scoreless ninth.
Goldschmidt’s homer traveled 418 feet over the centerfield wall, breaking a scoreless tie in the third. It was his second home run in as many games and his 50th career at Busch Stadium.
Yu Chang’s 416-foot solo homer off Cardinals reliver Génesis Cabrera in the seventh got the Pirates on the board.
Pirates starter JT Brubaker (0-7) earned just two of the three runs, allowed seven hits and struck out five in 5 1/3 innings.
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Jason Delay made his debut and became the sixth catcher for the Pirates this season. The last time Pittsburgh employed more than five catchers was 2016.
Brendan Donovan, who led off for the Cardinals, has appeared in all nine lineup spots this season, and played all four infield positions as well as right and left field.
THE MACHINE KEEPS RUNNING
Albert Pujols appeared in his 1,340th game at first base, tying Jim Bottomley for most in Cardinals history. It was also his 1,739th game as a Cardinal, passing Curt Flood for seventh-most in franchise history.
Pirates: RHP Duane Underwood Jr. was placed on COVID-19 injured list on Monday.
Cardinals: RHP Jack Flaherty (right shoulder) will start in the series finale against the Pirates on Wednesday night. Flaherty, who was scheduled to make his third rehab start at Triple-A Memphis, is expected to be held to around 60 pitches.
Cardinals RHP Miles Mikolas (4-4, 2.93) takes on Pittsburgh RHP Bryse Wilson (0-3, 7.53) in the night contest. Mikolas allowed two runs on three hits in a 2-1 loss at Tampa on Thursday. Wilson, who is the 27th man for the twin bill, went 0-0 with 3.32 ERA in three starts with Triple-A Indianapolis after being sent down on May 23.
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