Saturday, June 28, 2008

Lucky 13

Indy rode to the Buc's rescue last night, as Ty Taubenheim, TJ Beam, and JVB combined for 9 innings and gave up just a pair of runs in Pittsburgh's 4-3, 13 inning victory over the Rays. Van Benschoten got the win, his first since 2004.

Taubenheim was as advertised, a nibbler that did OK until he started losing command of the corners in the fifth and sixth and had to pitch too often in hitter's counts. Still, he kept his composure when the heat was on and kept the Buc's in the game.

Beam and JVB threw clean ball over the last three innings, and Jay Bay finally dumped one into the bullpen with two outs to make it a lucky 13 for Pittsburgh.

On the Pirate front: Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that the Pirates will recall pitchers John Van Benschoten and T.J. Beam from Indy, and place Frankie Osoria on the 15-day DL.

Ty Taubenheim already is set to make the start tonight in place of Phil Dumatrait, and he'll probably be sent back to Indy right after the game.

You really do need a scorecard.

> Xavier Nady was limited to pinch-hitting last night, and is day-to-day on returning to regular duty. He still has some soreness in his shoulder, and until that abates, he'll ride the pine instead of patrolling RF.

> Denny Bautista's forearm wasn't broken after getting whacked with a liner last night, but the extent of his injury won't be known until more tests are taken today. He's out for at least the weekend.

> When it rains, it pours. Long man Franquelis Osoria is bothered by a sore Achilles tendon and his availability will be day-to-day, too. ( EDIT - he's on the 15-day DL. Another one bites the dust.) Pretty soon Jeff Andrews is gonna visit the mound and have to stay to pitch for an inning or two.

> Nate McLouth's splits are starting to catch up with him. He's hitting .300 against righties, .264 vs. lefties. The gap is even more pronounced in slugging percentage - .606 vs RHP, .396 vs. LHP. Overall, he's hitting .289 with a .543 slugging percentage.

> The Pirates are third in the NL in runs scored, with 382. A big reason is that they lead all major-league teams with a .287 average with two outs and runners in scoring position. Nothin' like a little two-out lightning, as the Gunner used to say.

On the minor league front: RHP Yoslan Herrera, 27, made his Class AAA debut at Indy, allowing 2 runs on 7 hits in seven innings. He struck out 6 and walked 1 in picking up the win. SS Brian Bixler went 3 for 5 with a double, a triple and a steal. He's hitting .271 for the Indians.

TJ Beam gave this quick report on Herrera's outing: "He looked great," Beam said. "A different guy than I saw in Spring Training. He threw sliders for strikes and his fastball was down. He threw curveballs for strikes and changeups for strikes. He looked good. He made one bad pitch -- the two-run homer -- and that was the only thing."

> RHP Ryan Drese signed as a free agent with the Pirates and was assigned to Indy. Drese, 32, had been playing in the independent Atlantic League. He last pitched in the majors in 2006 with the Washington Nationals. In 6 years in the bigs, Drese has compiled a 34-39 record with a 5.31 ERA as a starter with Cleveland, Texas, and the Nats.

> Brian Friday, SS for Class A Lynchburg and one of the Pirates' top prospects, was placed on the minor league DL because of back pain. 3B Matt Hague, the 9th round choice, was promoted to the Hillcat roster.

> 3B Matthew Payne had three hits for State College. He was this year's 34th round selection from NC State.

> C Miguel Mendez, a 20-year-old out of the Dominican Republic, hit his third home run and went 3 for 3 with 2 walks and 2 RBIs for the GLC (Bradenton) Pirates. LHP Tyler Cox pitched three innings, allowing 3 hits and striking out 6. He's the 35th round pick from Illinois State.

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