PITTSBURGH (AP) — Joshua Palacios hit a three-run home run and had a career-high five RBIs to help the Pittsburgh Pirates beat St. Louis 11-1 on Monday night, sending the last-place Cardinals to their fifth loss in six games.
Palacios’ drive down the right-field line capped a four-run fourth inning to put the Pirates ahead 8-0 and chased starter Drew Rom, who was making his major-league debut. Palacios capped the scoring with a two-run double in the eighth.
The Cardinals remained in fifth place in the NL Central, falling 1 1/2 games behind the Pirates. St. Louis hasn’t finished in last place since 1990.
The Pirates and Cardinals met as the bottom two teams in the division for the first time since 1995.
Connor Joe tripled three times and rookie Endy Rodriguez also had three hits for the Pirates. Andrew McCutchen, Palacios and Alika Williams added two hits each as Pittsburgh finished with 16.
Bailey Falter (1-7) allowed one run in six innings of bulk relief for his first win since last Sept. 30 while pitching for Philadelphia against Washington. The left-hander also tied a career high with eight strikeouts.
Thomas Hatch worked three scoreless innings as the opener for Pittsburgh, which had lost five of its previous seven games. Andrew Knizner’s leadoff homer in the fifth inning, the backup catcher’s 10th of the season, accounted for the Cardinals’ lone run.
Rom was recalled from Triple-A Memphis prior to the game, less than three weeks after being acquired from Baltimore in a trade for pitcher Jack Flaherty. The 23-year-old was tagged for eight runs – six earned – and eight hits in 3 2/3 inning.
Rom started twice for Memphis and won both times with a 1.64 ERA.
The Pirates scored two runs off Rom in the first inning, both unearned because of a two-out error by second baseman Jose Fermin. Rodriguez drove in the first run with an infield single and Joe scored on a wild pitch.
Liover Peguero’s two-run single in the third pushed the Pirates’ lead to 4-0. Joe hit an RBI double an inning later and Palacios followed with his fifth longball.
Williams doubled in the Pirates’ final run in the eighth inning. Cardinals center fielder Tommy Edman then saved two runs by slamming into the fence to catch Alfonso Rivas’ two-out drive despite St. Louis trailing by 10 runs.
Cardinals: OF Dylan Carlson (left oblique strain) is considering having surgery on his left ankle, which has been bothering him since May. … INF Nolan Gorman (lower back strain) hit off a tee Monday for the first time since going on the injured list on Aug. 14. … RHP Ryan Helsley (right forearm strain) underwent tests Monday after feeling pain and tightness following his last rehab outing with Memphis.
Pirates: Rookie RF/C Henry Davis (right hand strain) was placed on the 10-day injured list and INF Vinny Capra was recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis. Davis was the No. 1 pick in the 2021 draft and has hit .213 with five home runs in his first 51 games. He is hitless in his last 14 at-bats.
The Pirates promoted right-hander Paul Skenes, the top pick in this year’s amateur draft, to Double-A Altoona from Single-A Bradenton on Monday. He is scheduled to start Saturday against Akron.
The former LSU star has pitched four scoreless innings over three appearances combined with Bradenton and in the rookie-level Florida Complex League.
BROTHER VS. BROTHER
Monday marked the first time Palacios could face his brother, Cardinals infielder/outfielder Richie Palacios, in the major leagues. Richie hit a pinch-hit single in the ninth.
The brothers were winter ball teammates in Puerto Rico with Mayaguez after last season and played together for the Netherlands in the World Baseball Classic in March.
The Cardinals optioned RHP Guillermo Zuniga to Memphis to open a roster spot for Rom. Zuniga allowed one run in two innings in his first two career major-league relief appearances.
Cardinals LHP Adam Wainwright (3-8, 8.42 ERA) will make a ninth attempt for his 199th career win Tuesday night when he faces RHP Johan Oviedo (6-13, 4.55). Wainwright is 0-7 with a 12.72 ERA in his last eight starts.