Saturday, April 26, 2014

Bucs Top Cards 6-1 To Snap Four Game Skid

And it was a quick 1-2-3 opening act for the Bucs against Tyler Lyons. Francisco Liriano had a calm first frame, too. The Pirate trend continued in the second with three groundouts. Matt Adams broke the ice with a single to center to open the Card half. An out later, Allen Craig dug out a low two strike slider and poked it into right. Frankie easily worked out of it against the 7-8 hitters to keep it at zero.

Three up, three down in the third, altho there were at least a couple of hard hit balls. It's never a good thing to walk the opposing pitcher, especially when he's wearing #70, but Liariano did after a long at-bat. And after a couple of more pitches, the trainer charged the mound as Frankie was in obvious discomfort, although not favoring an arm or leg. He left the mound with Clint; when it rains, it pours - losing your closer, catcher and Opening Day pitcher in a matter of hours is a perfect storm for a struggling team.

Stolmy Pimentel came in after lazing in the pen, and finished the walk to Matt Carpenter (it was 3-0 when he came in). After two big outs, Adams legged out an infield knock to load them. Stolmy went 3-2 on Yadier Molina after being up 0-2. After a foulfest, Molina whiffed on a changeup to keep the game even on a very nice job of pitching by Pimentel.

Oddly, after all that, the Bucs drew first blood. Starling Marte worked a leadoff walk, and after a failed bunt, Josh Harrison singled him to second. Cutch banged a ball through the left side and it was 1-0. Gaby drilled a ball to the right center gap for a double, took third on the throw, and it was 3-0. Neil Walker couldn't cash him in, but a JT single did.

The 4-0 lead lasted until the bottom of the fifth. A couple of walks and a one out Matt Holliday double made it 4-1, but Pimentel struck out Adams and Jared Hughes came on to coax a fly from Molina. After that, it was about the pitching. Both clubs got solid bullpen work until the ninth when the Bucs added on.

Ike Davis walked and JT singled. They were at second and third with two outs and both scooted home on a Tony Sanchez knock to make the final 6-1.

Five Pirate relievers - Pimentel, Hughes, Justin Wilson., Tony Watson and Mark the Shark - held the Crads to a run on three hits over the last seven frames, so give the bullpen a big gold star today. Tomorrow is a highlight duel between Edinson Volquez and Adam Wainwright.
  • Liriano left because of dizziness and flu-like symptoms, so hopefully he was just bitten by a bug and will be good to go next start. He blamed a nosebleed for weakening him, and said that they run in the family.
  • Jose Tabata has a hit in 26-of-28 games at Busch Stadium.
  • The Bucs snapped a four game losing streak with today's win while the Cards have lost 5-of-7.
  • Yadier Molina went 0-for-4, ending a career-high 15 game hitting streak.

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