Zack Cozart hit a ball hard to third and off Casey McGehee's mitt, ruled a knock. He stole second. Drew Stubbs walked on five pitches, and Joey Votto sent the next pitch into center to chase home a run and put runners at the corners. A sac fly made it 2-0 from jump street, in favor of the Reds.
Garrett Jones singled to open the second, stole a sack and moved to third on Matt Hague's bouncer. McGehee singled him in after falling behind 0-2 and battling for nine pitches. Rod Barajas beat out what looked like a DP ball and came all the way around on Clint Barmes' two-out double, and hey - it was tied that quickly. The Reds got a harmless two out knock from Bailey.
Alex Presley started the third with a triple to right and skipped home in front of Neil Walker, who ripped a homer (419') into straightaway center on a 2-0 four seamer, his third long fly of the campaign. Hague rolled a two-out knock up the middle and stole second, followed by McGehee and Barajas walks, both after the hitters were behind 1-2. Bailey got ahead of Barmes 1-2 also, then left a change up in the zone that he lined into left, plating a pair. Burnett tried to help the cause, but the best he could muster was a tapper back to the mound. Still, a 6-2 Pirate lead is a rare thing.
He did his thing on the hill, though, putting away Stubbs, Votto and Brandon Phillips on 11 pitches. And who'd thunk it after his last shut-down job against Pittsburgh Tuesday - Bailey was done after three and Alfredo Simon was on the bump in the fourth. Presley got a 3-1 fastball and hammered it to straight center, but it was hauled in in front of the 404' mark. Walker roped a 2-1 pitch into center for his second knock and stole second on a bang-bang call that went his way. Cutch went down swinging and missing three pitches, and a Jones liner that Votto snagged nicely stranded The Kid.
With two away for the Reds, Todd Frazier turned on a sinker and lined it to left for a single. Devin Mesoraco walked on five pitches. Mike Costanzo pinch hit, and went down swinging at a slurve in the dirt. JJ Hoover took the ball for the fifth.
After getting Hague on a soft bloop to center, Hoover fed McGehee a 1-0 heater down Broadway and he got the monkey off his back by hammering his first homer of the year over the right center fence. The team celebrated by giving Casey the ol' silent treatment in the dugout. Maybe AJ will get the same after striking out the side in the bottom of the fifth.
The Bucs kept pouring it on. With an out, Presley smacked one out the yard to right, his third on the year, to build the lead to 8-2. Jay Bruce led off the sixth by drawing a 3-2 walk. Chris Heisey lined a 3-2 fastball into center to put Reds on first and third. After 100 pitches, Burnett may be gassed. That was Clint Hurdle's guess, too, as he brought in Chris Resop. AJ went 5 innings, giving up three runs on five hits with four walks and eight K. Todd Frazier greeted CR with a sac fly, and Resop got the next pair on a pop and K.
Jose Arredondo took the bump, and got Jones on a liner to short. Hague went down swinging at a changeup at his ankles after watching a pair of strikes sail by, and McGehee popped out. Cozart singled to open the Red seventh. After striking out Stubbs, Votto worked a five pitch walk. He punched out Philips, and then lost Bruce to load the sacks. Hurdle stuck with him, although Watson was warmed up two batters ago, and Resop came up roses, striking out Heisey on three pitches.
After Barajas lined out deep to left, Barmes spanked a two-strike knock into left. Josh harrison pinch hit, to a roar from he hometown boy's personal rooting section. He almost gave them a thrill, flying out to the track in center. Presley K'ed, and the Bucs had six outs to go.
Watson made his entrance now. With an out, he walked Meso on four pitches. Easy enough to take care of; Miguel Cairo grabbed a bat and bounced a 2-2 pitch to short for the inning ending 6-4-3 DP. Sean Marshall worked the ninth and retired the Bucs routinely.
Juan Cruz took the mound looking to tie a bow on the contest, but did anything but cruise. Cozart is on fire; he banged out his third hit to open the Red half of the ninth. Wilson Valdez drilled a two-strike cutter down the middle into right. Votto fell behind 0-2, took a couple of balls, fouled a couple off, and found a slider he liked that he banged into right to bring in a run and get Valdez to third.
That was it; after three batters and three sharp hits, Hurdle yanked Cruz to put Hanny in an 8-4 game with two on and Phillips and Bruce due up. Phillips battled hard, but went down to a slider on Hanrahan's seventh offering. With Bruce up, Votto chugged into second on defensive indifference. Hanny went 3-2 on Bruce before getting him on a slider. Chris Heisey joined the crowd; Hanny's slider was just sick tonight.
You hate to use your closer in a game like this, but Clint Hurdle had little choice; he couldn't let the opener slip away. He rolled the dice and got away with it when he let Resop finish the seventh; there would be no pushing it with the heart of the Red order up.
And hey, it was a great start. Against Bailey, the Bucs were everything they weren't last week - they were patient, got into hitter's counts, and eventually got a ball to hit. They were a little less patient against the bullpen, but still hit balls on the nose. Now if Pedro comes back on fire...
Johnny Cueto and Brad Lincoln get it on tomorrow.
- The Pirates have won 8-of-10 and are two games out of first.
- JT is getting a night off, but says that his hammy isn't an issue and he'll be ready to roll if needed during the game.
- The Orioles signed OF Nate McLouth and assigned him to AAA Norfolk.
- RHP Ross Ohlendorf signed a MLB contract with the Padres.
- The final rounds of the draft will be held tomorrow, beginning at noon and available at MLB.com.