St. Louis tried to add on in the second. Tyler Greene singled and stole second (in truth, Bedard picked off the runner, but Garrett Jones' relay hit Greene in the back), and an out later Westbrook moved him to third with a dink into center. Then Westbook stole second, completely uncontested; the Bucs didn't even cover the base. Jon Jay walked to load them for Matt Holliday. He got ahead of Bedard 3-0, took a couple of strikes, one very borderline, and after spoiling a couple more, tapped back to the mound.
The Bucs left two on with two away in the third, but Bedard was starting to feel it, whiffing the last two batters to start a streak of seven straight K. The Bucs scored in the fourth. Pedro Alvarez singled to center and went to second on a ground out. Clint Barmes brought him home when his hot shot to third ticked off Freese's mitt and died in short left to make it 2-1.
It stayed that way until the sixth with both sides leaving ducks on the pond. Neil Walker lined a knock into center and El Toro continued his sizzling streak by banging a homer to left center into the first row of seats 408' away. The blast was on a 3-2 pitch - with the runner going. That ended Westbrook's day, and JC Romero came on. That would be it for Bedard, too. The early runners followed by the K parade ran his pitch count up to 104. He went five, giving up two runs on five hits with two walks and 11 K.
Jared Hughes shut down the Cards in the sixth, and the Bucs added in their half of the seventh. JT doubled, stole third, and plated on Alex Presley's bounce out, making it 4-2. Juan Cruz made it interesting in the Bird half of the inning. Two walks and an infield single loaded the sacks with two away, but Craig grounded out to Pedro to close the gate.
Victor Marte took the bump for St. Louis in the eighth. Consecutive two out doubles by Jones and Barmes ran the score to 5-2. Jason Grilli put up a zero to keep it that way going into the ninth.
Kyle McClellan took the ball for the Redbirds, and the Bucs kept on adding to the pot. Casey McGehee led off with a double, but was erased on a rundown after JT bounced to the hill. Tabata took second and scored with two away following a Nate McLouth liner into right.
The Hammer came in to get some work, but we all know what happens when a closer enters in a non-save situation. He walked two guys, and Craig doubled one home to make the final 6-3. It's nice to see the Bucs bats wake up. JT had three hits, while Pedro, Jones and Barmes had a pair. It was equally as nice to see six of the team's 13 hits go for extra bases.
The Reds' Johnny Cueto goes up against Kevin Correia tomorrow night as the Pirates return home.
- Erik Bedard became the first Pirate pitcher to record seven straight strikeouts in a single game. The last Bucco hurler to punch out 7 straight was Brian Fisher (from April 25-29, 1987).
- Seventeen strikeouts is the Pittsburgh nine-inning record, eclipsing the mark of 16 set twice in 1965. GW had the pleasure of being at one of those games when Bob Veale was busy mowing down Phillies at Forbes Field in a game that was rain-delayed a couple of times. The overall marker is 19, set in 1960 in a 16 inning game against the Reds.
- Cutch only made it to the middle of the fourth today. He was pulled with a touch of the flu. Guess that explains why he got the day off yesterday against the division leaders.