Up-and-down big league debut for Diaz

Shortstop picks up first hit, but also commits a costly error

Up-and-down big league debut for Diaz

PITTSBURGH -- Sitting on a stool in front of his locker after the Cardinals' 6-5 loss to the Pirates on Tuesday, Aledmys Diaz relived the day he had always dreamed of.

He had begun his Major League debut with a single in his first at-bat and steadily handled the first three balls hit his direction at short. But that wasn't the video he had cued up. Instead, sitting there with his cell phone in hand, he watched, over and over, the moment he'd rather forget.

It came in the fifth inning, with the Cardinals clinging to a two-run lead and Michael Wacha likely facing his final batter of the night, regardless the outcome. With one out and the bases full, Wacha, who had already scattered 10 hits over 4 1/3 innings, got the ground ball he needed. Diaz shuffled a few steps to his right to field it. Instead, he flubbed it.

What might have been an inning-ending double play was instead an error. As one run scored, Diaz couldn't recover in time to get even the out at first.

"I was thinking about making a double play for the team, and I think I hurried up a little bit and missed the ball," Diaz said. "We had a pretty good chance [to turn two] with that ball."

McCutchen scores on an error

It was the last ground ball Wacha induced on the night, as he handed over the bases-loaded mess to Tyler Lyons, who allowed one inherited runner to score. The Cardinals would never regain the lead.

"It's a tough play, for sure," Wacha said. "It would have been a pretty sick play if we had been able to turn two there. That's just the way the game goes sometimes."

Diaz, summoned before his Triple-A season had even begun due to an injury to Tommy Pham, drew his first start one day after arriving in Pittsburgh. His addition to the roster allowed the Cardinals to shift the right-handed-hitting Jedd Gyorko to second base on Tuesday and was also seen as a way to get a defensively superior shortstop onto the field.

To that latter point, Diaz will have to wait for the next chance to prove his worth as a defender.

"Physical errors are going to happen," manager Mike Matheny said. "That's all there is to it. He has been doing a real nice job with what we've seen from him, and he's going to make good plays. He's not immune to having a misstep like everybody else."

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB, like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.