The Jays went down 1-2-3 in the second; the Pirates loaded the bases with no outs on a trio of singles. Big inning? Nah. A Jordy Mercer 6-3 DP plated a run but killed the frame. Toronto went down without a score in the third; the Bucs went ahead. With one down. Neil Walker doubled, Cutch followed with an RBI knock and Pedro singled. Big inning? Nah. Gaby rolled into an around the horn DP.
The Blue Jays regained the lead in the fourth on a Juan Francisco double and Colby Rasmus dinger. Pittsburgh opened with back-to-back knocks. Big inning? Nah. Mercer again banged into a DP, this time 4-3. He has the grounder up the middle, where he's being played, down pat.
In the fifth, Jose Reyes singled, stole second and came in on a Jose Bautista double. The Kid opened the Bucco half with a ground rule double; it just missed leaving the park and stock in the padding of the wall. Cutch singled him home and stole second. Big inning? Nah. A pop up and two weak grounders ended the frame.
It became a battle of the bullpens in the sixth. Justin Wilson gave up a hustle Baltimore chop double to Brett Lawrie, then fell behind 3-0 to the next two batters, but came back to get them. Not so with pinch hitter Steve Tolleson, who tripled to the Infinity sign in right center. The inning ended with just one Jay run after Pedro made a diving grab of a Reyes smash. Steve Delabar came in for Toronto. With two down, Travis Snider singled, Tabata doubled and Walker was hit in the back foot by a pitch. That ended up a break for the Jays, as the ball was ticketed for the backstop, and was big when Cutch bounced out to short.
Casey Sadler finally got his call in the seventh. He was nervous in his debut and fighting the strike zone, but outside of a two out walk, put up a goose egg in his first MLB inning. The Bucs left Marte aboard in their hlaf; he singled with two down against Brett Cecil. Sadler gave up his first big league hit, a leadoff single to Lawrie, and stranded him at third by picking up his first two big league K's. Cecil tucked the Bucs away in order.
Mark the Shark pitched a scoreless ninth, and Sergio Santos, the oddball closer, came on. He had an ERA of over eight, and like Morrow is a high strikeout, high walk guy. He gave up a bloop single to Walker, then K'ed Cutch on a slider. Pedro decided to do something the Bucs had all but removed from their attack; he lost a fastball over the ketchup sign, and the Bucs had a tie game. Ike Davis flew out, and then Marte came up and blasted a high heater over the wall in center, and the Pirates had an improbable 6-5 win over Toronto.
Well, long overdue. Let's see if this starts something while the season is still in hand. Francisco Liriano takes on knuckleballer RA Happ tomorrow.
- For Pedro, it was his first long ball since April 17th, and for Starling Marte, since April 14th. The Pirates had gone over a week and almost 300 at-bats without a homer before the ninth tonight.
- Marte had four hits; Neil Walker and Cutch three. Marte is liking batting lower in the order, it seems.
- For an offensive club, the Jays are about pitching - they're 13-1 when giving up three or fewer runs, and haven't won when surrendering more than four runs.
- Cory Giger of the Altoona Mirror noted that the Bucs featured "all homegrown talent. 8 of 9 starters played for the Altoona Curve (all but Gaby), matching most ever."
- The Pirates had a pretty nice attendance, considering everything: 24,547 was the announced crowd.