Saturday, April 21, 2012

Birds Drop Bucs 4-1

Well, probably a good thing that Root Sports aimed its cameras at the Pens instead of the Bucs tonight. The Pirates didn't provide much compelling sports drama after the first batter, Alex Presley, led off with an inside the park homer, falling to the Redbirds 4-1.

The Pirates' lead lasted an at-bat. In the second, Charlie Morton missed tagging the base on a pitch and catch with Garrett Jones on Carlos Beltran dribbler, and Beltran came around to score on Yadier Molina's one-out double.

In the fifth, Pittsburgh missed getting a call, and it cost them the lead. Matt Holliday caught a break on a safe call at first that would have ended the inning. Instead, there were runners on the corners and Beltran brought home the go-ahead run when he rolled a single softly into right.

That would be Morton's last frame. He did an OK job, going five innings and giving up two runs (one earned) on six hits and three walks with six strikeouts, aided by a twin-killing. Evan Meek pitched a clean sixth, throwing just five pitches, followed by Jared Hughes.

Hughes threw a pair of scoreless innings, but the Cards added two insurance runs off him in the ninth. Daniel Descalso homered to right and Rafael Furcal drilled a RBI double to plate Shane Robinson, who had reached on a Neil Walker boot. It was the fourth Pittsburgh misplay of the night, with Clint Barmes adding a pair of wayward throws to the box score; two of St. Louis' runs were unearned.

As for the Pirates, they collected just three more hits and a pair of walks after Presley's out-of-the-gate sprint around the sacks. They couldn't do anything with them, as two DPs and a caught stealing kept the bases barren as the Bucs stranded just two runners. Presley was the only Bucco to touch second safely.

Cardinal RHP Lance Lynn, now 3-0 with a 1.42 ERA, went seven innings allowing one run on four hits and a walk with four Ks. RHP Kevin Correia takes on the Cards' RHP Jake Westbrook tomorrow night. In two starts, Westbrook is 2-0 with a 0.64 ERA, and Correia is 1-0 with a 1.50 ERA. The bright spot tonight was that the Pirate pitching did keep it tight until the end, and hopefully KC can keep it going tomorrow long enough to give the bats a chance to wake.

  • Alex Presley's leadoff inside the park homer was the first for a Pirate to open a game since Omar Moreno hit one in 1980, and the first at PNC since Jack Wilson's in 2004.
  • Skip Schumaker, who just came off the DL today, had to leave the game after Presley's dinger. He crashed into the wall after a futile leap to grab it, and had the wind knocked out him. He was removed as a precautionary measure.
  • The streak continues. The Pirates have yet to score or allow more than five runs in any game for the thirteenth straight time this year.
  • AJ Burnett is making what is probably his last rehab start tomorrow for Altoona.

No comments: