The Dukester stormed out the gate tonight - and then fell flat on his puss. Duke struck the first two batters he faced, then allowed a triple, two walks and three singles Bingo, 3-0 before the Pirates came to bat (shades of 2008!).
Still, he straightened out and flew semi-straight, allowing a hit and a walk over his last six hitters. Duke couldn't find the plate, and it's a long night when he has command issues.
The Pirates made it 3-2 in the second on Pedro Alvarez and Ramon Vazquez singles, but the fat lady made an early appearance then; neither club would scored after that.
The Bucs made some ninth inning noise when Jose Tabata hustled his way into a two-out infield single and stole second, but the seldom used Brandon Jones rolled one to second to end what little drama there was.
The pitching was sterling after Duke. Steve Jackson got the final out of the third with a whiff, Daniel McCutchen tossed a pair of perfecto frames with 2 Ks, and Brendan Donnelly (2K), Javier Lopez (1 hit, 1 K, 1W), Chris Jakubauskas, and Vinnie Chulk (2K) threw a scoreless inning each.
Vazquez had a pair of hits; together, the Pirates collected just six knocks, with only three coming in the final seven innings.
Tomorrow's game is against the Rays at McKechnie at 1:05 PM, and the Buc pitchers will be Kevin Hart (2 or 3 innings, 50 pitch limit), Jeff Karstens, Jack Taschner, Evan Meek, Donnie Veal, Jean Machi, and Jeremy Powell.
-- Dejan Kovacevic of the Post Gazette updated the Bucco minor league injury list. Three Pirates pitching prospects, Colton Cain, Zach Fuesser and Brett Lorin, will be out until late June/early July because of injuries.
None are arm related; Cain had back surgery, Fuesser broke a finger, and Lorin had hip surgery.