- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 6, 2016

ST. LOUIS (AP) - The St. Louis Cardinals biggest loss didn’t come on the scoreboard Wednesday night.

All-Star second baseman Matt Carpenter left the 7-5 defeat to the Pittsburgh Pirates in the third inning after swinging awkwardly at a pitch from Jeff Locke. He has a right oblique injury and his status is uncertain.

Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said Carpenter, who was recently named to his third All-Star Game, was in an MRI tube as he spoke to reporters after the game.

“I have a high level of concern because I’ve felt that injury and I’ve seen it,” Matheny said. “It can be tough, but I’m not going to make any conclusions until we hear from the people that know what they’re talking about.”

The Cardinals blew a 5-1 advantage and gave up their third lead in as many days. They have lost three straight, were leapfrogged by the Pirates for second place in the NL Central and fell to 18-26 at home. They have lost 10 games in a row at home to teams with winning records.

“We’re just not playing the kind of baseball we want to play and that’s it,” Matheny said. “We’re going to have guys go down and you never want to see it happen and we want to get them back as quick as you can, but when it happens, somebody else has to step up and right now we’re just fighting to get a good feel.”

Jaime Garcia exited after giving up a pair of walks to start the sixth. Both walks came around to score.

“Obviously not very good,” Garcia said. “I didn’t get the job done. It’s a tough one.”

Rookie shortstop Aledmys Diaz went 3 for 5. His 12th homer of the season tied the game 1-1 in the third and his single in the fourth capped a four-run rally for the Cardinals.

Kolten Wong replaced Carpenter, who was batting .298 with 14 homers and a team-high 53 RBIs from his leadoff spot.

“Hopefully it’s not bad at all for Carp,” Wong said. “Hopefully it’s maybe just a pinch or something and hopefully he will be back in a couple of days.”

Pittsburgh has won seven consecutive overall and it was its sixth straight comeback win. It got homers from David Freese and Sean Rodriguez, and Jung Ho Kang’s double off Jonathan Broxton (1-1) put the Pirates up 6-5 after they trailed 5-1.

Kang’s hit came a day after Chicago police said they were investigating an allegation of sexual assault against the Pirates infielder.

In a statement Tuesday, police said a 23-year-old woman reported being assaulted by Kang inside a hotel. Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said the Chicago woman met Kang through a dating app. Kang invited the woman to his hotel room on June 17, after the Pirates played the Cubs.

The woman said she blacked out, then drifted in and out of consciousness as he sexually assaulted her. The woman’s name has not been released.

Kang has not been charged, and Major League Baseball said in a statement it would “respond fully as additional facts emerge.”

The Pirates have won three straight series at Busch Stadium after dropping their previous seven in St. Louis.

Pirates relievers combined for five scoreless innings. A.J. Schugel (2-2) got the win and Mark Melancon picked up his 26th save.


Matheny successfully challenged first base umpire Dan Iassogna’s out call on Wong that would’ve ended a four-run rally in the fourth. After a 1 minute, 35 second review, Wong was ruled safe on his bunt attempt. The Cardinals added two extra runs due to the challenge as Jedd Gyorko scored on Wong’s hit and Diaz followed with an RBI single.


Fans that bought a special theme ticket received a John Goodman bobblehead, commemorating his character in “The Big Lebowski.” Goodman, a St. Louis native, threw out the first pitch.

“I immediately was scared and I was going to say no, but I thought it might be fun,” Goodman said. “I don’t deserve this.”


Cardinals: C Brayan Pena (knee) was placed on the 15-day DL and C Alberto Rosario was called up from Triple-A Memphis. . 3B Jhonny Peralta (thumb) sat Wednesday and is day-to-day.


Pirates: RHP Tyler Glasnow will make his major league debut. He went 7-2 with a 1.78 ERA at Indianapolis.

Cardinals: RHP Adam Wainwright (7-5, 4.70 ERA) pitched seven shutout innings in his last start and St. Louis is 10-3 in his last 13 outings.

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