• Though the Pirates started a lefty (Jonathan Sanchez) on Friday, manager Mike Matheny opted to start Jon Jay over Shane Robinson in center field. After giving Robinson two straight starts to end the series in Washington, Matheny did not want Jay to sit again Friday.
"He's one of our guys, and we need him in there on a consistent basis," Matheny said. "We need to get him right. He's had a few days to work on [his swing], and today's the day to get him back in there."
As it turned out, the left-on-left matchup never actually manifested. With Sanchez ejected four batters into his start, Jay faced righty Jeanmar Gomez in his first at-bat.
• Friday's game against Pittsburgh began a 12-game stretch in which the Cardinals will play each of the other four teams in the National League Central.
• The Cardinals entered Friday's game still leading the Majors with a .349 batting average with runners in scoring position. With two outs and a runner in scoring position, the club was batting .375. Matt Holliday carried the NL's best average (.588) with runners in scoring position.
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.