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Williams roughed up in 4-1 loss to Cards

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Starling Marte homered in his first at-bat back from the disabled list, but the Pirates could not generate any offense besides that, losing 4-1 to the St. Louis Cardinals Saturday afternoon.

Marte’s first inning moonshot over the center field bullpens should put any doubts that the right oblique that landed him on the 10 day DL is feeling better.

“What’s been helping me bounce back and helping me be able to produce is I’ve been doing a lot in the training room with the trainers and the strength coach. Working a lot in the cage,” Marte said through interpreter. Mike Gonzalez.

Marte also singled in his 2-4 return. He was placed on the DL on the 18th, but was retro activated back to the 16th, resulting in a speedier return.

“He showed that he’s recovered,” Clint Hurdle said. “The way he moved around the outfield, making that throw [to the plate]. We’ll see how he feels tomorrow.”

Pirates starter Trevor Williams only lasted four innings, allowing all four runs on seven hits. His troubles started on the second pitch of the game when Matt Carpenter homered into the seats in right. A third inning run inning single by Jose Martinez and fourth inning RBI from No. 7 and 8 hitters Francisco Pena and Yario Munoz cut his night short.

“It’s a part of what can happen in a major league season,” Hurdle said. “...He’ll bounce back fine.”

The Pirates got five innings of combined scoreless relief from Richard Rodriguez, Tyler Glasnow, Kyle Crick and Edgar Santana, striking out six.

Cardinals’ starter Jack Flaherty improves to 2-1 after going six innings of one run ball. While Marte’s home run was on a slider, the pitch was working for Flaherty besides that, getting four whiffs, eight called strikes and four contact outs with it. He threw it 28 times.

Williams falls to 5-3. Bud Norris threw a 1-2-3 ninth for his 10th save of the year.

Meadows stays put for now

Pirates top position player prospect Austin Meadows got his first call to the show last week because of an injury to Marte, but he’s sticking around for the time being even though the starting center fielder is back. The Pirates elected instead to option Jose Osuna to AAA Indianapolis instead to clear a spot on the roster for Marte.

Meadows’ performance is undoubtedly the reason why he is still in the majors. He is currently hitting .433 with three home runs, two doubles and a triple in his first 30 major league plate appearances.

“I’m just fortunate enough to be here still,” Meadows said. “Being able to go out there and help the team win, and go out there and play hard. Show them what I can do out there. I’m going to stick to that and we’ll see what happens down the road.”

While he has only played center in the majors, Meadows said he is confident in his abilities to play left and right field as well.

He was used as a pinch-hitter Saturday, grounding out to third base in the seventh inning on the first pitch he saw.

On Deck

Jameson Taillon (2-4, 4.56) and Miles Mikolas (6-0, 2.24) will square off in the rubber match of the series Sunday at 1:35 p.m.. Mikolas pitched a complete game shutout his last outing. Taillon has only one quality start in his last seven appearances.

NUMB3RS

1. Glasnow has 14 strikeouts in 11.1 innings over his last six outings. He’s also just allowed two walks- one intentional- and one run in that stretch.

2. Marte’s 447 foot home run was the longest of the year for the Pirates.

3. Carpenter bunted for a single against Rodriguez in the fifth inning. It was just the fourth hit a lefty has had against the righty pitcher this year (4-29, .138 average).

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