Just another rainy day defeat for the Pirates tonight, as they went down to the Braves by a 4-2 count. The good news is that Charlie Morton lasted six innings and only gave up two earned runs. The bad news? Well...
The Buccos banged out nine hits, drew seven walks, and had an Atlanta boot thrown into the mix. Ryan Church and Lastings Milledge had three hits apiece, which is a mixed blessing; that means the other seven lineup spots only accounted for three knocks.
Pittsburgh stranded fourteen runners and went 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position; their ten strikeouts didn't help the cause. And they gave up two runs on a Ronny Cedeno error and a Joel Hanrahan wild pitch.
Hanrahan got a swinging strikeout on his ball away and down with two out in the ninth and the bases juiced after two walks, but it ticked off Ryan Doumit's mitt. He had just come into the game in the eighth to pinch hit and then took over cold for Jason Jaramillo during the final frame.
Dewey recovered and made a play to first, where the runner was ruled safe in a bang-bang call. It was close enough that JR got ejected for protesting too much; he must have let a "dang" or two escape his lips in frustration. And he has a frustrating team, no doubt about it as Lanny would say.
All the Buc action happened in the fourth, when a Church double, Milledge triple, and Cedeno safety squeeze accounted for the scoring. The Braves used two solo homers and two gifts to put up their four tallies.
Zach Duke will take on Kris Medlen tomorrow afternoon. Medlen has started just two games this season, serving as a replacement for the injured Jair Jurrjens. The righty's done pretty well too; he's 1-1 with a 2.45 ERA.
-- Aki Iwamura returned and batted leadoff. He's in an 0-for-33 funk (.152 BA), though he did draw two walks (he has 20 walks and 20 hits for the season) and stole a base tonight. We guess his hammy is recovered, but still can't figure out why he's not at the bottom of the lineup instead of the top.
-- Ronny Cedeno has reached base safely in thirteen consecutive games, dating back to May 8th. Don't get too excited, though - he's only hitting .250 during that span.
-- The Pirates drew over 26,000 tonight, despite a rain delay of over an hour and a half. And hey, it wasn't even a fireworks night, although the team did give away Garrett Jones figurines.
-- Pittsburgh ranks fifteenth in hits, RBI, batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage among sixteen National League teams. The Bucs have scored more than four runs only two times in the last fourteen games.