Friday, August 16, 2013

There's No Place Like Home; Bucs Win 6-2

Gerrit Cole worked a quiet opening frame against Arizona. The Bucs had a little action against Brandon McCarthy, but couldn't touch home. Starling Marte singled and stole second, and after a pop and line out, Pedro drew a walk. But Russ Martin's drive to right was covered by Gerardo Parra, and it was scoreless after one.

Aaron Hill opened the second with a knock, but was erased on a 4-6-3 DP. Good thing, too, as Wil Nieve banged a ground rule double to left. A groundout ended the frame without any damage. The Pirates went down in order. The Snakes went down 1-2-3 in the third, and the Bucs broke ahead. With two outs, Neil Walker walked on five pitches and Cutch doubled him to third. The RISP challenged Bucs finally hit the jackpot, as Pedro dropped a single into center to make it 2-0, with Cutch sliding in just ahead of the throw.

But Cole wasn't up to protecting the lead in the fourth. He walked a pair of D-Backs with an out, and then tossed a wild pitch. A pair of ground ball knocks up the middle tied the score. The Bucs were retired quietly. Arizona went down without a peep in the fifth. The Pirates reclaimed the edge. Marte singled and scored on a Walker double to the wall in RC; The Kid came in on a Cutch knock to make it 4-2.

With two gone in the sixth, Martin Prado singled, but was stranded. The Bucs chased McCarthy with two outs when JT walked and Jordy Mercer singled. Josh Harrison came on to hit, and the D-Backs answered with Chaz Roe, who got him to fly out to center. Cole was done, going six innings and giving up two runs on five hits with two walks and five K, tossing  98 pitches in a solid, workmanlike outing. Jeanmar Gomez worked a clean seventh; so did Arizona's Will Harris.

Gomez made easy pickings of the D-Backs in the eighth, cutting down the top of the order. He faced just six batters and tucked them in on 23 pitches with three whiffs. LHP Eury De La Rosa toed the rubber for Arizona, and after a pair of outs, Gaby, who had entered the game in the seventh, doubled. That brought in righty JJ Putz to face JT. Tabata took a 1-1 pitch the opposite way, dropping it into the first row over the Clemente Wall to put the Bucs up by a 6-2 count. It was a clutch blow; Arizona leads the NL in comeback wins, but they have a big mountain to climb now.

Mark the Shark came on. JT's blast even caught Clint Hurdle by surprise, as Melancon was the only Pirate loosening in the pen. Save opp or not, he worked an uneventful, 15 pitch ninth to close out the victory, Cole's sixth of the year.

It was a big win; not only did it stop the bleeding from a couple of hard losses at St. Louis, but came against a club that's going hard after a wildcard spot. Jeff Locke takes on Trevor Cahill tomorrow.

  • 39,091 were at the ballyard tonight, the second largest crowd and the 13th sellout of the year. The club expects two more sellouts over the weekend. Build it and they will come...
  • Wandy threw 35 pitches of BP today, but still isn't tossing any breaking balls. He's on schedule to return in early-to-mid September.
  • The Pirates signed Tampa Bay's RHP Kyle Farnsworth to a minor league deal after he cleared waivers and sent him to Indy.
  • Altoona CF Gregory Polanco was pulled for failing to run out popup in his game tonight. The Pirate system has been pretty consistent in that message to hustle no matter how highly touted a player may be, and the results show up in the MLB.

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