Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Bats Stay Hot; Morton Stays Cool In 7-1 Bucco Romp

Not a glorious start for Charlie Morton, but it worked. Norichika Aoki hit a ground single to left and was forced out by Jean Segura. Segura was tossed out trying to steal, but a walk and hit batter created a small pickle; another grounder solved that. The Bucs greeted old running mate Tom Gorzelanny with a single, walk, single, with Cutch getting the RBI. Marlon Byrd hit the ball right on the nose in his first Bucco at-bat; unfortunately it was right up the middle, and Gorzo speared it and started a DP. Pedro flew out and it was 1-0 Pirates.

Both sides went down without a peep in the second and third; the Brewers got a two-out knock in the fourth. Cutch singled and stole second (standing up!) in the Buc half. Byrd whiffed and Pedro was robbed on a web gem grab by Scooter Gennett. But Gaby came through with a two out seeing-eye knock, barely past an extended Gennett, and it was 2-0.

Milwaukee got a runner to second in the fifth, and the Pirates began to pull away. JT tripled, came in an out later on Josh harrison's knock, and Josh scored on Jordy Mercer's double to make the count 4-0. Milwaukee got a soft infield single with two down in the sixth. The Bucs answered with two singles of their own, bringing on Tyler Thornburg, who extinguished that flame.

After an out, a single, walk and force put Brewers on the corners in the seventh; a two-out run scored when Russ Martin got frisky and tried to pick off Yuniesky Betancourt at first; the throw got away (actually, it rolled almost into the RF corner)  and the Brew Crew had their first run of the night. An ensuing walk ended Chuck's night. He went 6-2/3, giving up an unearned run on five hits, three walks and two K, tossing 90 pitches. Vin Mazzaro put away Segura to end the frame.

Burke Badenhop took the hill for Milwaukee, and the Bucs not only answered, but ran away and hid. Harrison singled and Mercer pushed a bunt for base hit. An out later, Byrd went long for the Bucs, dropping a shot just into the batter's eye, earning a curtain call from the crowd of 20,634 and making it 7-1.

An error, ground ball single and flare loaded the bases with an out for Milwaukee in the eighth, but Vin bore down and left the bases juiced to squash the Brewer's last gasp. John Axford tucked the Bucs away in their half. Jared Hughes did the ninth inning honors for Pittsburgh, and the Buc bats continue to be hot against the Brewers, backing up Morton by adding on throughout the game for a 7-1 win.

It wasn't quite as easy as it looked; the Brewers stranded 10 and went a very Piratesque 1-for-8 with RISP. But it was a big win, stopping the Bucco bleeding after losing three in a row. Gerrit Cole will try to keep the good time rollin' tomorrow against Yovani Gallardo.

  • Josh Harrison and Gaby Sanchez had three hits each tonight, while Jordy Mercer and Cutch added a pair apiece - it's Cutch's 51st multi-hit game of the year.
  • The last Pirate player to homer in his debut with the Bucs prior to Marlon Byrd tonight was Starling Marte on 7/26/12 against the Astros.
  • The Bucs are back within 1/2 game of the NL Central lead with tonight's victory.
  • RH reliever Vic Black will go to the Mets to complete the trade for outfielder Marlon Byrd and catcher John Buck, reported the Tribune-Review's Rob Biertempfel. The proviso is that he clears waivers.
  • Jeff Locke, in only a mild surprise, joined Tony Sanchez in Altoona. They'll both be back Tuesday after the Curve season ends.
  • C Kelly Shoppach was released after the Bucs picked up John Buck.
  • Travis Snider reached in all three trips to the plate with two walks and a single for Indy. Alex Presley has also been hot; he has a 10 game hitting streak since being sent down.

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