Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Ike Gives Locke All The Help He Needs As Pirates Win 3-1 & Take Series

Kind of an up-and-down first frame for Jeff Locke. Randall Grichuk banged a first-pitch fastball to right for a one out double. With two away, Matt Adams walked. Russ picked him off first, but Ike dropped the ball; Davis was charged with an error and Martin picked up an assist. And give Locke an assist; he whiffed Jhonny Peralta to strand both guys. Adam Wainwright put down the Bucs with a whiff, another whiff, and a pop up.

Jon Jay singled to open the second; Tony Cruz hit into an around-the-horn DP. Daniel Descalso singled and Waino flew out to keep the scoreboard clean. With one gone, Wainwright bopped Russ with a curveball. A pitch later, Ike squashed the horsehide, going over the wall in right center and hitting a stadium speaker to prevent the ball from bounding into the Allegheny. That was followed by a pair of routine outs.

The Cards halved the lead in the third when with two away, Matt Holliday caught all of a first pitch change up and dropped it over the left-center wall. The Bucs looked like they were going to have a big frame - Locke opened with a single, Josh followed with another and Travis dropped a drag bunt down successfully to juice the sacks. Cutch hit a sac fly, but Wainwright K'ed The Kid and Russ to escape a big hurt. Speaking of hurt, Snider left the game that inning with left hamstring cramps.

The fourth was quiet; Locke tossed a clean frame and Wainwright worked around a walk to Ike. Descalso got a knock in the only Card action in the fifth thanks to Josh, who made a diving stop and throw to rob Grishuk of an RBI double. The Bucs just kept on stranding runners. Josh singled to lead off, and then two outs later The Kid and Russ hit back-to-back knocks to fill the sacks. Ike tried to add on, but he lined out to second.

The sixth was fairly calm - Adams singled for the Redbirds, Locke for Pittsburgh and neither went anywhere. St. Louis went down 1-2-3 in the seventh. Carlos Martinez took the bump for Wainwright. Cutch singled with an out. Walker got ahead 3-0, took a fastball and then went after the next, flying out just short of the track in center. Martin singled Cutch to third and stole second. Ike left them there, flying out to left.

Locke walked Matt Carpenter to open the eighth, and after getting Grichuk to fly out, gave way to Tony Watson. He got a K and a tapper to close down the frame. Starling started the Bucco half by reaching via error, but a botched bunt and DP took the air out of the frame. Mark the Shark got his call. Peralta greeted him with a knock, but Melancon took care of business to retire the next three Birds and closed it out for his 24th save and Jeff Locke's 6th win.

Jeff had one of his nice games; not too much nibbling, not much in the middle of the dish and pitch to contact. It resulted in a 98 pitch outing lasting into the eighth, giving up a run on six hits and just two walks with six strikeouts. That's the Jeff Locke the Bucs have been looking for. It was a big series to take, especially after the letdown of losing the opener. Now a day to catch their breath, and here come the Reds.

September call-ups may just be around the corner, but don't expect Clint to using the fresh troops very much. He's been increasingly going to the guys he trusts, so look for the newbies to find a quiet corner of the bench and not get much in the way of a test run.

The Pirates are off tomorrow and then open a three-game home series against the Cincinnati Reds on Friday night. Edinson Volquez will take on Mike Leake.
  • Per ESPN Stats: Ike Davis' second inning HR was calculated at 447 feet, the longest home run allowed by Adam Wainwright since 2010 (Jonny Gomes- 451).
  • 29,905 were on hand for this afternoon's game.
  • The Pirates took all three home series against the Cardinals this year.

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