Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Big Eighth Gives Bucs 6-4 Win At Milwaukee

Well, the Shark Tank looked more like a goldfish bowl against the Brewers in the first two games, but the pen came through this afternoon, picking up five innings and allowing just a run as the Bucs roared from behind to take a much needed 6-4 win from the rampaging Brewers.

The Bucs went pretty quietly in the first against Hiram Burgos; in fact, they were quiet against all seven innings he was in. Jeanmar Gomez looked like he was going to be run out of town on a rail in the opening frame, but gutted it out to hold the Brewers to a run.

With an out, Jean Segura reached when John McDonald one-hopped a throw to first that Garrett Jones couldn't pick. He stole second and scored on a hard hit grounder up the middle by Ryan Braun. Jonathan Lucroy singled him to third, and then the catcher stole second - not hard to tell it was Russell Martin's day off, hey? Ricky Weeks was behind 1-2, but coaxed a walk from Gomez to juice the sacks. That's when Gomez hankered down, striking out Carlos Gomez on three pitches then Yuniesky Betancourt on a pop. It took him 30 pitches to escape the frame; no rest was in store for the Bucco bullpen.

The second featured Pedro's blast to tie the game (he crushed a change, which is promising), and third didn't cause any stirs. The Pirates went down tamely in the fourth. Not Milwaukee: Gomez and Betancourt went back-to-back wth bombs, the third straight game the Bucs have surrendered consecutive homers.

Justin Wilson came on to relieve Jeanmar in the fifth, and the game settled down until the seventh. Mike McKenry homered off Burgos, but the Brew Crew answered. With an out, Wilson lost his control, plunking Khris Davis and walking Logan Schafer. Segura, who tortured the Bucs this trip, singled in a run and there were Brewers on the corners. Bryan Morris got the call, and two pitches later saved the inning when he got Braun to bang into a 4-6-3 DP.

That was it for Burgos, who went seven pretty good frames before set up man and former closer John Axford took the hill. The Bucs were laying in the bushes, set up for another Ambush Alley afternoon. Travis Snider legged out a soft ball to short, and Starling Marte took a 1-1 heater out in center to tie the game; it was a95 MPH heater at his shins. JT rolled a single into right, but Cutch and Jones went down routinely.

Tabata stole second, but had to leave after his hammy tightened up; J-Mac came on to run. Brandon Inge flared a bloop to right that Ricky Weeks couldn't glove and then booted into center field. By the time the dust settled, a run was in and Inge was at third, where he trotted home on a Pedro knock (on an 0-2 delivery) off former Pirate and lefty Mike Gonzalez.

Mark Melancon and Jason Grilli did what they do. Each gave up a hit (neither runner got to second) and struck out a batter to ice the Buc's 6-4 win. Bryan Morris turned around to pick up the W (his first in MLB) after getting the L yesterday while Grilled Cheese chomped up his 11th save..

The Bucs are off tomorrow, then the Washington Nationals come to town for a three game weekend set.

  • Brandon Inge has an eight game hitting streak.
  • The Brewers were 4-for-4 against Mike McKenry in the stolen sack department.
  • Travis Snider got another rest day, and is expected back in the lineup this weekend. The Bucs will decide on Neil Walker's fate when they get back to Pittsburgh; they may still put him on the DL, backdated to when he cut his hand on Friday, if his knuckle isn't responding.
  • Francisco Liriano has one more start scheduled at Indy and is expected to start on the 11th against the Mets. Charlie Morton has two more starts slated for his rehab stint, and is penciled in to start on the 14th against the Brewers.

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