Frankie Liriano struggled with the lead; he gave up a couple of hits and four walks in the first four frames, but no runs. He had the K stuff going on with six and had some help from his friends - Starling Marte threw out one runner, and Chris Stewart picked off another.
The Pirates upped the ante in the fifth when a smokin' hot Walker drilled a two run double to plate Cutch and El Coffee. It came with an out, breaking a streak of eight straight two-out runs scored by Pittsburgh in the series and chasing Jeremy Hellickson. With the 4-0 lead, Francisco kicked it in gear and cruised through the fifth and sixth.
|Frankie gets off the schneid (photo: Associated Press)|
Pittsburgh piled it up in the ninth, when runs steaming home after a Polanco double, Cutch sac fly and birthday boy Sean Rodriguez knock to make it 8-0. Antonio Bastardo mopped it up to seal Frankie's first W, and the Bucs raised the Jolly Roger on a broomstick tonight.
Vance Worley faces Jason Hammel at Wrigley Field tomorrow night.
- The Kid is on a roll; his hitting streak is now at nine games. Walker really tortured the D-Backs, going 7 for 12 with four doubles.
- In fact, the Bucs 1-5 hitters (Josh, Gregory, Cutch, The Kid & Starling) went 11-for-21 with three doubles, three walks, eight runs scored and four RBI.
- The Pirates have won five in a row, their longest April winning streak since 2007, and gone 8-of-10 while sweeping two of the past three series. The Bucs didn't cobble together a five game streak last season until mid-September.
- Cutch ended an 0-for-16 streak with a fifth inning single. He had drawn three walks in his previous seven plate appearances.