For the next two innings, some pretty good ball was being tossed. The Mariners were nine up, nine down, and the Bucs managed a Clint Barmes single.
In the fourth, AJ's wheels began to wobble. He walked Michael Saunders (the first of three free passes he would earn) and Jay Bay on seven-pitch at-bats. Burnett got a strikeout, but then a wild pitch - his second of the frame - followed by a groundout brought home Saunders. Could be that he and Mike McKenry just aren't used to one another; it's only the second time they've been a battery. Cheap though it may be, the run counted and it was tied. The King tossed a 1-2-3 frame.
The Bucs got a leadoff double from Jordy Mercer in the fifth, and Clint Hurdle called on Clint Barmes and AJ to bunt. Barmes missed a couple a then flew out, moving Mercer to third; Burnett whiffed. A sacrifice with a runner at second or third is just throwing away an out, and the Bucs tossed a couple down the drain. The sixth went quietly both ways.
In the seventh, AJ made his big mistake. With an out, he left a first pitch fastball down the middle and just above the knees to Jesus Montero, who dropped it a half dozen rows deep into the seats in right center. Burnett left after the frame, giving up two runs on two hits with four walks, two WP and nine K after 109 throws. The Bucs tried to rally for him when The Fort led off with a knock, but Pedro followed with a comebacker and 1-6-3 DP.
Vin Mazzaro put up a goose egg in the eighth, and the Bucs gave it the college try - JT lost a knock to a tumbling Endy Chavez in right, and Marte legged out an infield single, only to stumble when trying to steal second with two outs and getting picked off.
Bryan Morris pitched a calm ninth for Pittsburgh, as did Tom Wilhelmsen for the Mariners, and Seattle got the split behind Felix Hernandez 2-1.
The Pirates now visit the Mets as Jeff Locke takes on Dillon Gee tomorrow night at Citi Field.
- The Pirates outhit Seattle 7-3, but two DPs and a caught stealing pretty much kept them from threatening Hernandez. Pittsburgh only whiffed five times during the game.
- The Bucs drew 18,877.
- Jonathan Sanchez has cleared waivers and been officially released by the Pirates.
- Kris Johnson went five shutout innings for Indy, giving up two hits with five K. OF Felix Pie's homer was the offense in a 2-0 win.