Sunday, June 23, 2013

Buc Bomb Halos 6-1

Well, Jerome Williams and Francisco Liriano lit it up in the first. Both had 1-2-3 innings with a pair of K. But the Bucs warmed up in the second.

With one gone, Pedro drilled another long ball, lining a fastball over the RF wall. Gaby and The Kid followed with singles. Travis Snider bounced into force to put runners at the corners, and a Jordy Mercer knock brought in another run. Starling Marte reached on a boot, and Russell Martin drew a five pitch walk with the bases juiced to make it 3-0. Liriano gave up a two out walk to Alberto Callaspo, and that was all .

The Bucs went down quietly in the third, and The Cisco Kid faced his first challenge. With one down, he gave up back-to-back knocks. A force out by Mike Trout left Angels on the corners, and he got Albert Pujols to bounce out the keep the pad at three against a couple of tough outs, Trout being robbed by a diving stop by Sanchez..

The Pirates added on in the fourth when Neil Walker led off with a double and Snider singled him home. A Mercer DP and Marte groundout finished the frame. Liriano did some more wriggling. Howie Kendrick doubled with an out and Alberto Callaspo got an infield knock to short, with Kendrick forced to hold second. Erick Aybar singled sharply to left, and Kendick decided to challenge Marte. Bad idea; he was gunned down at home by a mile. A walk loaded the sacks, but Liriano got JB Shuck swinging at a slider.

In the fifth with one down, Cutch drilled a first pitch cutter over the bullpen in left for a four bagger. Pedro doubled an out later, just missing a second homer, and went to third on a wild pitch, but Gaby popped out. Frankie had an easy frame, just giving up a two out walk. The sixth went quietly, too. Snider walked and was caught stealing and the Halos went down in order.

Dane De La Rosa put the Bucs away in the seventh. Shuck smacked a one out ground rule double on a 3-2 pitch, barely missing getting rung up on a fastball that nudged the corner the pitch before. An out later, Trout singled him in on a ball that went off Walker's glove to make it 5-1. That was it for Liriano, who went 6-2/3 giving up a run on seven hits and three walks to go with six K, tossing 104 pitches. Bryan Morris came on. Trout stole second while Sir Albert walked. It was getting risky, but Morris K'ed Trumbo to end the music.

It was Michael Kohn's turn on the hill. He fired a 94 MPH heater, a little up and on the inside half to Gaby, who smacked it high off the LF foul pole to make it 6-1. With an out in the eighth in the Angel half, Callaspo singled just past a diving Sanchez, and Clint Hurdle went to pen for Justin Wilson. It took him two pitches to end the frame on an around the horn DP.

Snider walked and Mercer singled to open the ninth. marte flew out to straightaway center just short of the track. martin banged one to third; a bobble took away the DP as the play went to first. Cutch drilled a fastball to center, but Bourjos bounced off the wall to make the grab. Wilson lost his first batter, got a force, and walked another, which got Mark Melancon stirring in the pen. Another force, on an automatic call at second (Mercer wasn't on the bag) brought up Pujols, who bounced out to Pedro and ended the evening.

It's nice to get a couple of games where the bats are working and the back end gets a break. The bottom of the order came through tonight; the top four Bucs were 1-for-18 with a walk while the bottom five went 9-for-18 with two walks. Gotta love that DH. It helps, too, when the opponent strands eleven runners. And now they go for the sweep. It's been a nice West Coast trip so far, something that's rarely been written about the Pirates.

Charlie Morton faces Joe Blanton tomorrow afternoon in the finale.
  • Tim Brown of Yahoo!Sports thinks the Pirates and their fans may have a reason to believe this summer.
  • The Bucs brass will sit down today (Sunday) and decide what route to take with J-Mac, who is about at the end of his rehab time.
  • Stolmy Pimentel went seven innings for Indy Saturday, giving up a run on four hits and three walks with seven K after tossing 92 pitches. 
  • Jameson Taillon went five frames for the Curve, giving up two runs on four hits with four walks and three whiffs after throwing 89 pitches.
  • We missed this, but on Friday night OF Barrett Barnes homered twice and drove in a career-high six runs to lead Low Class A West Virginia to an 11-7 win.
  • 13th round draft pick 1B Danny Collins has hit four homers in six games for short season Jamestown.

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