He gave up two runs in the first, one in the second, and then put up a couple of goose eggs. Evereth Cabrera opened the game with a double and scored on a single off Clint Barme's glove by Will Venable. Venable would score on a grounder after a passed ball and bouncer moved him to third.
The Friars scored in the second on two ground ball singles and an infield hit. The old KC problem was biting him - a little luck, and he could wiggle out, but the ball is always in play against him. He just can't punch anyone out to stop the parade.
After drawing a pair of two-out walks in the first two innings, the Bucs almost had the answer. With two down and two on - Rod Barajas, bopped with a pitch, and JT with an infield single - Cutch launched a bomb to straight center. But the heavy air in Petco held it up just enough, and Cameron Maybin pulled it in at the fence. KC got his first zero in the third, leaving runners at first and third thanks to Petco returning the favor and keeping Maybin's blast in the yard.
The Bucs tried again with two outs in the fourth. Pedro walked on a 3-2 pitch and Barmes singled. Barajas yanked a heater to left, but lined it right to Carlos Quentin. Correia had a clean inning. Volquez struck at the side in the fifth, and KC got the hook. Chase Headley singled and an out later Yasmani Grandal walked. That brought on Tony Watson, who calmed the waters.
The Bucs manufactured a run in the sixth. Cutch beat out a ball to third and went to second on a wild throw. A grounder moved him to third, and The Kid singled him home to make it 3-1. Kyle McPherson made his MLB debut; he picked up a pair of K and gave up a ground ball single to Cabrera in his debut.
With two outs in the seventh, JT lined a first pitch change into left for a double. Snider drew a five pitch walk. Out went Volquez, in came Brad Bach. He fanned Cutch on a 3-2 pitch up and away to douse the threat. K-Mac pitched a 1-2-3 frame.
Luke Gregerson took the bump. With an out, he lost Walker on a 3-2 pitch and Pedro bounced a seeing-eye single to right, with The Kid stopping at second. Gaby Sanchez stepped up to pinch hit and popped out on a 1-2 slider. Hot Rod bounced to short to end the frame, a frustrating one for Pittsburgh. Gregerson got away with a lot of pitches over the plate without paying.
Justin Wilson came in for his MLB baptism. He struck out the first guy he faced, Yonder Alonso, who watched a heater nick the inside corner. Then he nailed Alexi Amarista on a 3-2 pitch, a fast ball he foul-tipped into Barajas' mitt. Maybin initiated Wilson by banging a first pitch slider into center for a knock, then Chris Denorfia fought off an inside heater and knocked it into right. No prob; he whiffed Cabrera on a foul-tip heater.
Dale Thayer came on to tie things up for the Padres. Josh Harrison smacked a 1-2 slider on the line to right where Venable gloved it. JT kept it going with a single to right. Snider swung through a heater for the second out (and the golden sombrero for his 4th K). He did the same to Cutch, going up and away after pitching him tight, and the Bucs dropped the opener to the team they can't seem to beat 3-1.
The Bucs stranded 11 more runners tonight and went 2-for-11 with RISP while striking out 13 times. That's about all she wrote. Snider, Cutch and GI Jones, the 2-3-4 hitters, went 1-for-13 with eight strikeouts and eight stranded runners. The Buc lineup just isn't deep enough on most nights to carry the team without the big boys, and they all were looking for the bomb tonight instead of the gapper.
One other question - why do the Pirates bring up starters like Locke, McPherson and Wilson and then stick them in the bullpen? Wouldn't it make more sense to have starters called up to start and bring up, you know, relievers like Bryan Morris, Evan Meek or Chris Leroux to relieve?
AJ Burnett takes on Jason Marquis tomorrow.
- The Pirates were one of three MLB teams to not have a pitcher makes his MLB debut this season. They left that club by breaking in a pair of new arms, Kyle McPherson and Justin Wilson, tonight.
- Jose Tabata has five hits, including a pair of doubles, in his first two games back for the Bucs.
- Going the other way is Rod Barajas. Since June 1st, he's played 46 games with a .157 BA and .248 OBP. He has 4 RBI and three extra-base hits in July and August.
- The Padres are now in a 16-3 streak against the Pirates.
- The Oakland A's landed Arizona shortstop Stephen Drew for a Class A organizational infielder.