ST. LOUIS — Pittsburgh Pirates manager Derek Shelton staged baseball’s first major, socially distanced umpire argument, then got his first victory as a big league manager as the Pirates beat the St. Louis Cardinals 5-1 on Sunday.
Shelton came out to argue with plate umpire Jordan Baker in the third inning after pitcher Derek Holland was ejected for arguing balls and strikes.
Shelton pulled a gaiter over his face as he left the dugout, and Baker pulled a face mask out of his pocket and held it to his face as Shelton argued from about 6 feet away. Baker let Shelton say his piece, and the first-year skipper was not ejected.
Despite the odd circumstances of the argument, Shelton paid Baker a compliment about the dust-up.
“Jordan did a really good job of it. We were trying to stay distant, which we were both aware of,” he said. “Then his mask broke midway though [our argument] so I wanted to make sure that my mask stayed up and he was great.
“He handled it professionally. I think it was the first time, and we were both in an unknown area, and then when I went out there later, we kind of got a chuckle out of it.”
Pittsburgh avoided being swept and beat the Cardinals for just the second time in their past 14 meetings. The Pirates made sure this was a game to celebrate, all for their new manager.
“I got a pretty severe beer shower,” Shelton said. “I think anybody that knows me knows I’m [mad] we wasted that much beer.”
Keller (1-0) faced St. Louis for the first time in his career. He gave up one run, two hits and three walks while striking out three. His only blemish came when Kolten Wong scored on Tommy Edman‘s infield single in the third inning.
Cardinals starter Dakota Hudson (0-1) gave up four runs, including two homers, in 4⅓ innings. Hudson lost for the first time in four career starts against the Pirates, and it was his first loss against an NL Central opponent after winning his previous five starts in 2019.
Pittsburgh scored three runs in the fourth. Moran homered with two outs, and that was followed by Phillip Evans‘ infield single and a two-run shot to center by Osuna for a 3-1 lead.