Thursday, May 23, 2013

Bucs Score Early To Sweep Cubs 4-2

Jeanmar Gomez pitched a 1-2-3 opening frame; Edwin Jackson didn't. Starling Marte opened with an infield knock, stole second and come around on a Cutch single to left. He stole second, and an out later, Neil Walker drew a four pitch walk. The Fort singled him home, and he and The Kid moved up a base on Soriano's wayward toss to the plate. There was no more two-out thunder; Pedro went down swinging. RHP Jackson struck out all three lefties - Travis Snider, Garrett Jones and El Toro - he saw, but the righties in between did him in.

In the second Soriano led off with a single, but was erased on a 4-6-3 DP as Jeanmar faced just three Cubbies. With two outs, the Bucs did some damage. Marte legged out another infield knock and scored as Snider tripled into the Notch, sliding into third while flashing the Z to the Bucco dugout. Cutch lined one into center, and it was 4-0 in a hurry. Both sides went down in order in the third.

Gomez had problems in the fourth. David DeJesus lined a 3-2 sinker to right for a double, and Starlin Castro blooped a knock to center to put Cubbies on the corners. Rizzo banged into a force, making it 4-1. An out later, Nate Schierholtz reached on a Jones' boot to again put Cubs at first and third, and then the rains came.

An hour and 45 minutes later, play resumed and Vin Mazzaro got the last out on a diving stop by Pedro, who has been channeling Brooks Robinson these last two games. Rafael Dolis came on for the Cubs, and put up a zero, to be replaced by Carlos Villanueva in the next frame.

The fifth and sixth went routinely enough with neither club getting a runner to third. Snider helped Mazzaro by throwing out Castro in the sixth, cutting off a drive to the gap and gunning a throw to second to send Starlin back to the bench.

Jose Contreras toed the rubber in the seventh, and gave up a walk and single to put Cubbies at the corners. Dale Sveum brought in lefty Ryan Sweeney, and Clint Hurdle countered with southpaw Justin Wilson. Chicago won the matchup as Sweeney dropped a soft single to center to make it 4-2; Cutch spared the Bucs any further damage by making a sliding grab of DeJesus' flare. Carlos Marmol worked the seventh, and left Cutch, who had singled, stranded at first.

The Cubs went down quietly in the eighth. Clint Barmes doubled off Marmol with two down, but he came back to get pinch hitter JT swinging. Hurdle called on Jason Grilli to shut the door, and he did, pitching a perfect ninth and striking out the last two hitters as the Bucs swept the Cubs 4-2 and took 8-of-10 during the home stand. Grilli got his 19th save and Mazzaro picked up his third win as a Bucco.

Cutch had three hits, 2 RBI and a run scored; Marte had a pair of knocks and two runs to lead the attack. Now it's off to Milwaukee, where AJ Burnett takes on Marco Estrada.

  • Cutch has multi-hit efforts in five of his last six games and has gone 12-for-26 (.462) over that span.
  • The Pirates tied their season high of four straight wins and reached their 2013 high of 11 games over .500 (29-18), putting them in a tie with the Reds for second in the NL Central, 1-1/2 games behind the Cards. Sports Illustrated had the Bucs ranked fifth in their Power Ratings going into the game.
  • Pittsburgh is 20-9 in games decided by two or fewer runs.
  • Al Skorupa of Rotographs posts "Will Gerritt Cole Ever Be An Ace?" And more importantly, where does he fit in the world of fantasy baseball?
  • "Million Dollar Arm" is the next big baseball movie, and it began shooting this month in Mumbai, India. The Disney/ESPN film is the story of Rinku Singh and Dinesh Patel, who were signed by the Pirates  in 2008. 

No comments: