Pirates vs. Cardinals – Game Recap – April 7, 2022
ST. LOUIS — — Adam Wainwright threw six scoreless innings, Tyler O’Neill hit a three-run homer and drove in five, and the St. Louis Cardinals celebrated the return of Albert Pujols with a 9- 0 in the season opener against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Thursday.
Yadier Molina sent off a runner trying to steal second place in the opener of his final Big League season, and Nolan Arenado and Tommy Edman also homered for the Cardinals, who won the managerial debut of Oliver Marmol, 35 years old. Paul Goldschmidt made four consecutive walks, the first player to do so on Opening Day since Manny Ramírez in 2002.
The Pirates had just six hits and lost budding star Ke’Bryan Hayes to left forearm spasms in the first inning – just hours after news first began to spread that Hayes had agreed to an eight-year, $70 million contract.
Fans stood and cheered Pujols for nearly a full minute before his first at bat, a left flyout in the first inning. The 42-year-old played 11 seasons in St. Louis (2001-2011) and helped the Cardinals win two World Series championships before leaving to join the Los Angeles Angels.
Pujols, who signed a one-year deal with St. Louis last month, was 0 out of 5.
Wainwright (1-0) allowed five hits on his sixth opening day and his first since 2016. The 40-year-old struck out six and didn’t walk a batter. He and Molina, 39, made their 305th start as the battery, fourth in major league history. Molina set his franchise record for the 18th consecutive opening day.
O’Neill had an RBI single in the first, then opened the game with a left-line homer in the second inning against starter JT Brubaker (0-1) for a 4-0 lead.
Wainwright got out of his only jam in the fourth by forcing Kevin Newman into a late-inning double play with two runners on base. Wainwright hasn’t allowed a run against Pittsburgh in its last 32 innings.
Yoshi Tsutsugo had two hits for Pittsburgh, which opened the season on the road for the sixth straight season.
Relievers Nick Wittgren, Genesis Cabrera and Ryan Helsley combined on the shutout on six hits.
Brubaker allowed four runs in three innings. He took out two and walked three.
Pregame ceremonies included the traditional parade of Clydesdale horses circling the field in addition to the introduction of 16 members of the St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame. Ozzie Smith threw the first pitch to Willie McGee.
Pirates: RHP Duane Underwood Jr. left the game in the sixth with a strained right hamstring. … OF Greg Allen was placed on the 60-day injury list with a left hamstring problem.
Cardinals: Season opener without RHP Jack Flaherty, who is sidelined with a stiff shoulder.
Pittsburgh RHP Mitch Keller (5-11, 6.17 last season) will face RHP Miles Mikolas (2-3, 4.23) in Game 2 of a four-game series on Saturday.