Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Bucs Shut Down By Ian Kennedy 2-1

Felix Pie opened the game by legging (well, actually, head-first diving) out an infield knock off Ian Kennedy. The glow didn't last long; he was caught stealing on a hit-and-run that was swung through by Neil Walker. With two down, Cutch singled and Pedro walked, as did Russ Martin. But Kennedy found the plate against Garrett Jones and K'ed the slumping big guy on three pitches. So four runners, no runs. with two down in the Friar half, Yonder Alonso singled off Walker's glove and went to second on a wild pitch, but was stranded.

The Bucs went down quietly in the second, and SD made some more noise. One out soft singles by Alexi Amarista and Logan Forsythe and a dribbler put runners at second and third, but Cole K'ed Kennedy to end the threat. In the third, Cutch was left on after a two out walk. The Padres tallied when a leadoff double by Will Venable led to manufactured run after a roller and sac fly to left. Martin couldn't come up cleanly with the throw on what would have been a bang-bang play at the dish; he may had had trouble tracking it because the ball was in the shadows on its entire flight in during the California afternoon.

Pittsburgh again went down in order in the fourth; San Diego got a two out knock and nothing else. The Pirates went down without a peep again in the fifth. The Friars threatened again. A leadoff single was followed by a 6-4-3. Then Chris Denorfia singled and stole second, coming in on Alonso's single to left; just getting a hand in ahead of the tag to make it 2-0.

Cutch singled with an out in the sixth, but his teammates couldn't move him. With one down, Amarista singled. He was caught stealing, followed by a single and a whiff. That was it for Cole, who went six, giving up two runs on 10 hits with five K after 94 pitches. He's certainly not there yet - his fastball was up way too much, and he's probably lucky that he was facing the Padres - but he's done his part to keep the Bucs in ballgames.

The Bucs got a Gaby Sanchez single in the seventh, then Justin Wilson took the bump. Jesus Guzman greeted him with a double. He stole third an out later, but was left there. Luke Gregerson toed the rubber for San Diego after Kennedy, who entered the game with a 5.12 ERA, four-hit the Bucs through seven. Pie opened the eighth with a walk. A Walker roller moved him to second, a wild pitch to third, and a Cutch sac fly brought him home. Bryan Morris worked a clean bottom half, the first against the Padres tonight.

Huston Street took the ball to close out for San Diego. He struck out martin and Jones, and gave Sanchez a 2-0 slider down the middle that turned into a game-ending fly to center. So it's 2-of-3 in San Diego, not a bad start, but the Buc bats frittered away a chance to win against a Padre club scuffling to score runs. After the first, the Pirates never had a runner reach second base.

You have to wonder if Starling Marte was in left instead of Felix Pie if the Padres would have run so much; Pie made a pair of strong throws, but...  One thing's is for sure - the Buc attack is in trouble if Garrett Jones doesn't find his eye soon; he's hitting .152 this month with 18 K in 70 AB and is in an 0-for-19 funk.

Jeff Locke opens the four-game San Francisco series against Matt Cain tomorrow night.

  • Andrew McCutchen played his 700th game tonight; he has 777 hits and a .295 BA over that time.
  • The details of Francisco Liriano's contract, per MLB Trade Rumors' Steve Adams.

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