Lee Meadows had a rough first inning, but the Pirates got some good relief pitching from Johnny Morrison and the hitters gradually made up the gap. In the end, the Bucs edged the Cards, 6-5, to take the rubber match of the teams’ three-game series at Forbes Field.
The Bucs’ ace wasn’t fooling anybody at the start of the game. After the leadoff hitter lined out, Heinie Mueller tripled, Rogers Hornsby doubled and Jim Bottomley singled to produce two runs. Bottomley went to third on the throw to the plate and then scored when Chick Hafey beat out an infield hit. After a popup, Bob O’Farrell reached on an error by Johnny Rawlings at second. Tommy Thevenow singled to drive in Hafey, putting the Cards up, 4-0. The inning ended on Thevenow’s hit when right fielder Eddie Moore threw O’Farrell out at third. Moore was hurt on the play and left for a pinch hitter, Carson Bigbee, in the bottom of the first.
Meadows settled in after that, keeping St. Louis off the board through the fourth. He allowed three runners, but one was erased on a double play and Earl Smith caught the other two stealing.
Meanwhile, the Pirates started a comeback in the bottom of the third against St. Louis starter Duster Mails. One-out singles by Bigbee, Rawlings and Kiki Cuyler brought in a run, and Clyde Barnhart made it 4-2 with a sacrifice fly.
In the fourth, the Bucs took the lead. Glenn Wright and Stuffy McInnis started the inning with singles. Smith grounded into the hole between short and third, but the ball hit Wright. He was declared out and Smith got credit for a single. Max Carey, batting for Meadows, struck out, but Bigbee singled in a run and an infield hit by Rawlings loaded the bases. Mails then walked Cuyler to force in a run and bring on Leo Dickerman in relief. Dickerman walked Barnhart to force in another run, putting the Bucs up, 5-4.
Eddie Dyer for the Cards and the Bucs’ Tom Sheehan kept the score where it was through the fifth and sixth. In the top of the seventh, St. Louis tied the game when the first three batters singled. Bill McKechnie brought in Morrison, who picked O’Farrell off second and got two ground outs to end the inning.
The score held at 5-5 until the bottom of the eighth. Morrison led off with a single and moved up on a bunt by Bigbee. That brought up Fresco Thompson, a 23-year-old infielder appearing in his first major league game. Thompson had pinch run for Rawlings in the sixth and stayed in the game at second. In his first big league at-bat, he singled to drive in Morrison and put Pittsburgh up, 6-5.
Morrison retired the Cards in the ninth to pick up the win, improving his record to 16-11. Rawlings and Smith each had three hits, and Bigbee went 2-for-4 with three runs scored. The Giants also won, so the Pirates remain in first place by eight games.
The Pirates next make a quick trip to Chicago for one game tomorrow. They return the next day for a four-game series with the Cubs, starting with a doubleheader.