Cardinals offense gets shut down again

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 26, 2014 at 8:23 pm •  Published: April 26, 2014
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ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis Cardinals hitters keep reminding themselves that there's a long, long way to go.

These days, they're not putting anything together.

"Obviously, it's been a little bit slow lately," Allen Craig said after a 6-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates on Saturday. "I think that we're going to stay optimistic and keep grinding out at-bats.

"It's the first month of the season. Things are going to improve."

The Cardinals have mustered five runs their last four games, losing three of them. They were held to three hits the last seven innings by the Pirates bullpen after Francisco Liriano left with flu-like symptoms and dizziness, and were 1 for 11 overall with runners in scoring position.

"We couldn't get the big hit when we had the opportunity," said leadoff man Matt Carpenter, who was 0 for 3 with two walks. "It's just the way it's going right now. When you're not getting results, it's tough to swallow sometimes, but I think we're close to getting out of this."

Gaby Sanchez had two RBIs in a four-run fourth inning for the Pirates.

Matt Holliday had an RBI double for the Cardinals but Yadier Molina was a bust on his jersey giveaway day, striking out with the bases loaded to end the third against Stolmy Pimentel (2-0) and popping out with runners on second and third to end the fifth against Jared Hughes. He entered batting .431 during a 15-game hitting streak.

Craig is batting .174, Jhonny Peralta .175, Peter Bourjos .163, Mark Ellis .100. Carpenter had 55 doubles last season and has none this season.

"It's frustrating for everybody," manager Mike Matheny said. "Right now guys are just searching to find it, and a few guys are feeling good. It comes down to taking a consistent approach."

Andrew McCutchen and Jose Tabata each added an RBI off Tyler Lyons (0-2) in the fourth, with the first four runners reaching safely after the lefty opened with three perfect innings. Tabata totaled three hits and is a career .345 hitter at Busch Stadium.