Kang hits key double amid investigation, Bucs beat Cards 7-5
ST. LOUIS (AP) Jung Ho Kang is playing while under investigation for sexual assault , and the Pirates infielder helped Pittsburgh climb in the standings Wednesday night.
Kang drove in two key runs with a seventh-inning double a day after Chicago police announced their investigation, and Pittsburgh beat the St. Louis Cardinals 7-5 on Wednesday night for its sixth straight comeback win.
Kang's double off Jonathan Broxton (1-1) put the Pirates up 6-5 after they trailed 5-1.
Kang, through an interpreter, declined to comment on the assault allegations after the game in his first public remarks. He did talk about the latest comeback victory, which gave Pittsburgh seven consecutive wins overall and leapfrogged them past St. Louis for second place in the NL Central.
''Not only myself but also all the teammates and the team as a whole unit, we always think positive and keep our heads in the fight,'' Kang said. ''And that's what we did today and the last couple of days.''
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.
Pirates left-hander Jeff Locke lasted just four innings and had his three-start winning streak snapped.
''Typically you don't get away with starts like that,'' Locke said. ''Four innings from your starter, five runs and you probably don't have a good chance to win the game. But the guys don't give up. You know it's kind of inspiring.''
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.
Jaime Garcia exited after giving up a pair of walks to start the sixth. Both walks came around to score.
The Cardinals have lost three straight and fell to 18-26 at home. They have lost 10 games in a row at home to teams with winning records.
UPON FURTHER REVIEW
Cardinals manager Mike Matheny successfully challenged first base umpire Dan Iassogna's out call on Kolten 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.
Cardinals All-Star second baseman Matt Carpenter left the game in the third inning with a right oblique injury after swinging awkwardly at one of Locke's pitches. Carpenter was replaced by Wong.
Matheny said Carpenter was in the 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 Pirates recalled LHP Kyle Lobstein and optioned LHP Steven Brault to Triple-A Indianapolis. It is the fourth roster move in as many days for the Pirates.
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.''
Pirates: An MRI on C Chris Stewart's knee showed wear and tear and could require surgery, but Stewart hopes to rehab and play through it. ... RHPs Gerrit Cole (triceps) and Ryan Vogelsong (facial fractures) will throw bullpens Thursday.
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.