Hey, who woulda thunk that Andrew McCutchen's gimpy ankle would lead to a Pirate victory? Well, it did tonight, when some gutsy pitching by Paul Maholm and a two-run homer lined into the first row above the Clemente Wall by his replacement, Ryan Church, would key a 3-2 Bucco win.
Maholm went six tough innings, giving up eight hits and walking three. But the only runs would come on solo shots by Alfonso Soriano and Geovany Soto. The lefty didn't have great command, but he stranded seven Cubs in scoring position and gave the hitters a chance to win tonight. And they did just enough to pull it off.
Andy LaRoche bombed a solo shot into left in the first inning to go Church's launch, and Joel Hanrahan, Evan Meek, and Octavio Dotel made the three runs stand up. It was Maholm's second win and Dotel's fourth save.
Charlie Morton will try to regain his mojo tomorrow when he goes against Ted Lilly.
-- The Pirate pitchers continued their baffling inability to handle opposing moundmen again tonight, when Maholm allowed Ryan Dempster two hits.
-- McCutchen's ankle sprain is still causing him some discomfort. He'll be available to pinch hit, and hopes to be back in center field by Thursday.
-- Steve Pearce is expected to start tomorrow against Ted Lilly, a lefty. Jeff Clement wore an 0-for-3 collar tonight, dropping his average to .164.
-- No games this time around; the team announced that Brian Burres will start on Thursday. Jeff Karstens is penciled in for Saturday as of now.
-- Brendan Donnelly has been placed on the 15-day DL with a left oblique strain. It was post-dated to April 28th, which means he can return May 13th.
-- Octavio Dotel became a first time daddy Sunday with the birth of a son, Eduardo.
-- The John Raynor era is over in Pittsburgh. The Bucs couldn't swing a deal with Florida for him, so the Rule 5 pick was returned to the Fish.