Claremore Daily Progress

Sports

September 9, 2013

Wacha's arm, bat lead Cards to sweep over Pirates

ST. LOUIS — Michael Wacha is glad he's graduated to a pennant race.

After finishing his college career at Texas A&M just over a year ago, the rookie pitched seven shutout innings and drove in two runs as the St. Louis Cardinals routed the Pittsburgh Pirates 9-2 Sunday for a three-game sweep.

The Cardinals outscored Pittsburgh 26-10 overall in taking the NL Central lead.

"It helped me going to A&M and playing in those big-time games and I guess gets me prepared for it,'' Wacha said. "So I just try not to think too much. I go out there and try to go out there and just trust myself. It ended up working out pretty well.''

The Pirates arrived at Busch Stadium this weekend with a 1 1/2-game division lead and a chance to cement their first winning season since 1992. They left trailing the Cardinals by 1 1/2 games and still stuck on 81 victories.

This was the last time this season Pittsburgh and St. Louis were scheduled to play.

Wacha (3-0) allowed two hits and walked two, both of which were erased on double plays. He struck out two and never had more than one runner on at a time.

Wacha hasn't allowed a run in 19 2-3 consecutive innings.

"A young pitcher coming in and just staying within himself, really establishing the strike zone early,'' Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "It seemed like he made some really good pitches as he got deeper into the game. He's just making pitches all day. It's impressive.''

Pittsburgh starter Charlie Morton (7-4) left with discomfort in his left foot in the second inning. He allowed five runs on six hits and two walks in 1 2-3 innings.

Morton left for Pittsburgh before the game was over and won't join the team in Texas where it starts a three-game series Monday.

Manager Clint Hurdle said he didn't know the extent of Morton's injury. Hurdle said Morton was hurt when he was backing up a base.

"We weren't sharp in any particular area of the game all weekend,'' Hurdle said. "They were much sharper than us across the board. It's very difficult to win a game when you are not functioning.''

Morton hadn't surrendered more than two runs since the Cardinals tagged him for five in a 13-0 victory on Aug. 1 in Pittsburgh. He went on to win his next three decisions over five starts, including a no-decision after giving up two runs in seven innings on Aug. 13 at St. Louis.

Wacha got his second career hit with a single up the middle on the first pitch he saw from Vin Mazzaro in a four-run fifth that scored David Freese and Matt Adams. St. Louis used 10 batters in the 28-minute inning - exactly how long Wacha needed to get through six innings of pitching.

"That was a lot of fun,'' Wacha said of his hit. "I told myself that I was going to hop on the first heater. I was able to sneak it by the shortstop up the middle. I was pretty fired up about that.''

Wacha also helped set up a three-run second with a sacrifice bunt that pushed Pete Kozma to third in front of consecutive doubles from Matt Carpenter and Jon Jay.

Jay scored on Morton's final offering, a wild pitch that bounced just in front of the left-handed batter's box.

The Cardinals jumped in front with two runs in the first. Carpenter and Jay singled to start the inning and Matt Holliday walked to load the bases. Carlos Beltran hit a sacrifice fly and Yadier Molina had an RBI grounder.

"We all knew what was at stake,'' Carpenter said. "This is the last time we get to play these guys, so it was a big series. I couldn't be happier with the way it played out. Not just the fact that we won all three, but the fashion that we won all three. Really dominated, I feel like, every aspect of the game.''

Pittsburgh scored twice in the ninth off reliever Sam Freeman. Garrett Jones hit an RBI double and Gaby Sanchez had a sacrifice fly.

Jones said Wacha had the Pirates guessing all day.

"He has deception,'' he said. "That downward angle can be tricky. He was able to hit his spots and he has a good arm.''



 

1
Text Only
Sports
  • DSC_0016web.jpg District Champions!

    District champions ... Enough said!
    Claremore freshman forward Olivia Maulsby converted a game-winning header with 1:22 remaining to lead the No. 4-ranked Lady Zebras past No. 5 Skiatook, 2-1 Tuesday night in Metro Lakes Conference play at Lantow Field.

    April 23, 2014 3 Photos

  • DSC_0433web.jpg SOCCER: Bulldogs spoil ‘Senior Night’ for Zebras

    Claremore senior goalkeeper Sam Lillie made the most of his first and last varsity start Tuesday night against Skiatook on Senior Night at Lantow Field.
    For 40 minutes, Lillie was flawless in the goal, allowing only one goal and making several tenacious stops against the fiery Bulldogs.
    The second-half, however, told a different story as No. 3 Skiatook scored four goals and enjoyed a 5-0 win over the No. 15 Zebras.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Berryhill’s White strikes out 17, tosses no-hitter over No. 1 Verdigris

    Top-ranked Class 3A Verdigris got White-washed by 4A No.3 Berryhill on Tuesday night.
    In a battle of 2013 state champions, Chiefs’ ace Nick White — a future Oklahoma State pitcher —  fired a no-hitter with 17 strikeouts, igniting a 5-0 victory over the Cardinals.

    April 23, 2014

  • Stilwell’s Lea signs with RSU men's basketball

    Rogers State University men's basketball head coach Justin Barkley announced the addition of standout center Matt Lea for the 2014-15 season.

    April 23, 2014

  • HANSLOVANweb.jpg SOCCER: No. 2 Lady Cards roll past Oologah

    Verdigris senior forward Caitlyn Hanslovan tallied another ‘hat trick’ in her illustrious Lady Cardinals soccer career Tuesday night at Oologah.
    The three goals by Hanslovan soared the second-ranked Lady Cardinals past Oologah, 5-0 in non-conference play at Mustangs Stadium.

    April 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • 5 Claremore HS tennis players earn all-conference

    The Claremore High School boys and girls varsity tennis programs had five players receive Metro Lakes all-conference recognition.

    April 23, 2014

  • SEC MEN'S BB: Johnson, Poythress returning to Kentucky

    Kentucky's frontcourt will bring back size and experience next season after freshman center Dakari Johnson and sophomore forward Alex Poythress announced they would return.

    April 23, 2014

  • NBA PLAYOFFS: Grizzlies look to keep home edge against Thunder

    The Grizzlies are happy to be back in Memphis, where they finished the regular season by winning a franchise-record 14 straight games.
    They brought home-court advantage with them.
    To guard Mike Conley, that ratchets up the pressure even more. It's time for the Grizzlies to protect the place they call the Grindhouse.

    April 23, 2014

  • NBA PLAYOFFS: Warriors, Clippers to meet in Oakland for Game 3

    Golden State Warriors coach Mark Jackson sat on the scorer's table at Oracle Arena on Wednesday morning. He gazed around the building and tried to envision what it will look and sound like when the Warriors host the Los Angeles Clippers for Game 3 of their first-round playoff series Thursday night.

    April 23, 2014

  • Arkansas' Beeks among SEC pitchers having banner season

    Now more than ever, the key to success in the Southeastern Conference is pitching.
    The league has the lowest ERA in the country, and aces abound as postseason play approaches next month.
    LSU's Aaron Nola (7-1, 0.88 ERA), Arkansas' Jalen Beeks (5-3, 1.49) and Mississippi's Chris Ellis (5-0, 1.72) are among those dominating almost every time they take the mound.

    April 23, 2014