OK, quick report tonight - the Bucs won 7-1, scoring early and eventually adding on against Chris Volstad.
The Pirates jumped on Volstad quickly. The top five hitters, back in their routine spots, swung the sticks with a vengeance tonight.
In the first, Jose Tabata drew a one-out walk, Neil Walker doubled him to third, and Garrett Jones hit a sac fly followed by a Pedro RBI single, and viola, it was 2-0 before the fans could say "Jameson Taillon."
The Marlins got a run back in the fourth when a leadoff hit glanced of McCutch's mitt and fell for a double. Logan Morrison came around on two ground outs. Pedro had a decent play at the plate on the second ball when the runner went on contact, but opted for the sure out. It was a gift run off J-Mac, the only one Florida would score.
The sixth was the end of the road for Volstad. McCutch singled, JT walked, and Walker was hit by a pitch while squared up to bunt. It was shower time for Volstad.
The Marlins called on LOOGY Taylor Tankersley, but this time, the LOOG's won. Jones doubled home a pair, and Pedro singled in two more. Finally, the fat lady would sing to the Bucs.
McCutch added a seventh inning homer, and the final was 7-1.
The Pirates were a machine. They had but nine hits, but bunched them together and took advantage of some wildness. James McDonald cruised, going seven innings and giving up a run on three hits, with two walks and six K's. His pitch count was up again, at 109, but he's been effective since joining the rotation.
After the nightmare road trip, it was good to see PNC Park, where the Pirates are 27-30, compared to 13-48 (that's not a typo) away. As Dorothy said "There's no place like home."
Zach Duke will face Ricky Nolasco tomorrow night.
-- SS Ronny Cedeno received a cortisone shot today, so we should know by Wednesday if he can play or will go on the DL.
-- Andrew McCutchen has stolen 25 sacks so far this year; the last guy to top that number was Chris Duffy, who swiped 26 in 2006.
-- JR has regained his senses and returned his lineup to normal tonight - McCutch, JT, the Pittsburgh Kid, Garrett Jones, and Pedro. We may have toyed with Jones batting third or fifth, but not second.
-- Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors has a post titled Zach Duke's Future.
-- Jen Langosch in her MLB.com blog says that RHP Jose Ascanio, who had just begun rehab, hurt his hand in a home accident. It's not expected to cost him the season, but it may very well cost him a September call up.
-- Former Pirate GM Joe L. Brown, the suit behind the 1960 & 1971 World Series teams, died yesterday at the age of 91. He held the team reins from 1955-1976.
-- Altoona LHP Justin Wilson was named the Eastern League Pitcher of the Week today. He went 1-0, throwing eight scoreless frames with 11 K's in his only start last week. Wilson has a 10-6 record and a 3.13 ERA for the Curve.