Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Beltran, Lynn Stop Pirates

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Beltran, Lynn Stop Pirates

Article excerpt

There were all sorts of fireworks at Busch Stadium on Friday night, both pyrotechnic and otherwise.

There were three home runs, four hit batters, two near misses, three ejections the first two coming before the Pirates had even retired a Cardinal batter and the requisite Mitchell Boggs bullpen adventure.

And despite all that, it turned into a relatively straightforward win for the Cardinals. Lance Lynn allowed just two hits and one run in seven innings while striking out nine and Carlos Beltran, recovering from a bout with the flu, hit two homers, one from each side of the plate, as the Cards beat the Pirates 9-1 before a sellout crowd of 44,090 fans at Busch Stadium, though there were no stars for perfect attendance on a chilly evening.

"It comes back to our pitching," Cards manager Mike Matheny said. "Our pitching has given us the ability to stay in games and win, and our offense is making strides in the right direction."

Facing Pirates starter Jonathan Sanchez, who came in with an ERA of 11.12, it had the potential to be a good night for the Cardinals hitters, but Sanchez lasted just four batters. He gave up home runs to Matt Carpenter and Beltran in the bottom of the first the first back-to-back leadoff homers for the Cardinals since Tony Womack and Reggie Sanders did it in 2004 a line single to Matt Holliday and then he drilled Allen Craig on the shoulder, which got him ejected. Pirates manager Clint Hurdle came out to argue and he got ejected.

The Pirates maintained the pitches were accidental, but home plate umpire Tim Timmons saw it differently and wasted no time in throwing Sanchez out of the game.

"You've got two home runs and then you've got a line-drive single up the middle, and then the very first pitch is up around the shoulder and head area," Timmons said. "He threw intentionally at him, and in that area I deemed that intentional and he's done. Very dangerous."

"Timmons thought (Sanchez) was throwing at his head. We disagreed," Hurdle said. "He was trying to push the batter back and he clipped him."

Both teams were warned, which made the situation slightly dicey when Lynn hit Pirates shortstop Starling Marte in the third and then again in the fifth. In both instances, Timmons felt the pitches were unintentional the first time Marte got hit, Timmons initially didn't think he was hit and Lynn stayed in the game. Pirates hitting coach Jay Bell, however, did get thrown out after the second time Marte got hit for comments from the dugout.

"He didn't hit him intentionally," Timmons said. "The pitch is just off the plate. It's up but it's not intentionally throwing at him."

"It's the difference between throwing inside and throwing at someone," crew chief Mike Winters said.

"It's not good," said Lynn, who improved to 4-0 and has won nine straight decisions over two seasons. …

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