Wednesday, April 17, 2013

AJ Almost Perfect; Bucs Roll 5-0

The Bucs came out on fire, but could only put up one run on Shelby Miller. Starling Marte started the Bucs going with a triple the opposite way off the Clemente Wall and came in on a soft single over second by Travis Snider. Cutch banged into a 4-3 DP, and that was followed by a Garrett Jones knock and double to left by Neil Walker, hit with too much starch to plate Jones. Pedro popped out, and that was it for awhile.

Quite awhile, actually. Neither team put a runner aboard again until there was an out in the sixth. After retiring the first 16 Redbirds, a Burnett hook caught Daniel Descalso in the tootsie. AJ left him sitting on first.

The 22 year old Miller had knocked off 15 straight Bucs before a clap of two-out lightning struck in the Pirate half. Cutch broke a bat to bounce a ball up the middle; Descalso tried a spin-a-rama and tossed the horsehide wide and into the seats for a single and error. Jones walked on a 3-2 hook, and Miller ran the count full to The Kid. Walker skipped a ball up the middle, just under the diving Descalso's mitt, and it was 2-0.

Burnett's streak came to an end with two down in the seventh. A hook to Carlos Beltran flattened out a bit, and Beltran sent it on a hop off the Xfinity sign in right center for a double. AJ got Yadier Molina on a fly to Cutch, and that was the night for him after 101 pitches. He went seven, giving up a hit and striking out eight; his slurve was special tonight.

Trevor Rosenthal came on for the Cards, and the Bucs added another run in a sloppy display. Russell Martin started off with an infield hit; Descalso made a running grab of the weak bouncer but missed the mark at first. Clint Barmes bunted him up, and Alex Presley lined a single to left as a pinch hitter.

Martin was held up, and The King steamed into second, beating the throw handily but oversliding the sack and getting picked off. Marte rolled one to third; David Freese hurried the throw with the Dominican flying up the line and one-hopped it to first. Matt Adams couldn't make the grab, and the Bucs had a 3-0 lead for the pen. Mark Melancon tossed a 1-2-3 eighth, helped by a spiffy play and throw from the hole by Barmes

Cutch opened with a knock for openers, and Mike Metheny waved in lefty Randy Choate. Clint Hurdle called on Gaby Sanchez to hit for Jones, and Gaby doubled to straight center over Jon Jay's head to plate McCutchen. A bouncer moved Sanchez to third and Pedro, who did squat against the righty Miller, dropped a flare into left against Choate to chase home Gaby. That brought on Fernando Salas, who put out the flames.

In the ninth, Tony Watson came in with a non-save situation. He got the first two outs easily, but Clint Hurdle waved in Jason Grilli, just to get some work, we guess. Too much managing for us, but a four pitch K should keep Grilled Cheese fresh with the Braves coming to town.

Jeff Locke takes the bump tomorrow night against Atlanta's Julio Teheran.

  • AJ Burnett passed the 2,000 K mark tonight. He now has 2,006 whiffs in his career. AJ reached the mark in the second inning when he got Carlos Beltran to look at a called third strike, blowing a fastball past him.
  • Neil Walker has a six game hitting streak going on; Starling Marte extended his skein to ten games.
  • Pedro drove in his first run since Opening Day tonight.
  • The Bucs continued their April woes at the gate on a night the Pens were home, drawing just 9,570 fans.
  • Indy's Jerry Sand's was suspended for a game after he went into the stands yesterday at Toledo. The incident started when Toledo fans heaped abuse (and beer and peanuts) on Brandon Inge, who spent several seasons with the Mud Hens. Felix Pie had to be held back from entering the fray.

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