Sunday, May 10, 2015

Bucs Take Series with 4-3 Win

Jung-Ho Kang started the Pirates off and running in the first by dropping his second homer into the LF stands. Jordy Mercer singled home Starling Marte in the fourth to make it 2-0. Jeff Locke was meanwhile cruising until there were two gone in the sixth when the Card's Lex Luther, Kolten Wong, drilled a ball into the right field seats with Peter Bourjos aboard to tie the game.

Pittsburgh answered in their half. Cutch doubled, moved to third and came in on a barely deep enough sac fly by Marte. But the game see-sawed; Jason Heyward, after looking at strike three to everyone in the house but the plate ump (Fran Cervelli didn't help by jabbing at the pitch; maybe there was a cross-up on the signs), delivered a two out single to cash in Mark Reynolds, who had doubled. Jared Hughes came on after that, giving up a single before closing down the frame. The Bucs held serve, tho, when Steve Lombardozzi drew a pinch-hit walk, was bunted to second and came around on Kang's soft liner to left.

Tony Watson then came in to face Wong; he walked him to open the eighth. A quick punch out of Matt Holiday and a 4-6-3 DP from Jhonny Peralta quietly ended the frame. With two gone in the Bucco half, Sean Rodriguez doubled the other way but was stranded, leaving no insurance for Mark the Shark.

Yadier Molina greeted him with a bouncer up the middle for a single. Melancon fell behind Matt Adams 3-1, but coaxed a short fly to Cutch out of him. Reynolds singled with a rocket off Jordy's mitt, followed by a swinging K of Heyward. Pete Kozma rolled one to Josh, and the Jolly Roger was raised. Jared Hughes claimed his first win of the season with the Shark earning his seventh save.

Jared Hughes - two batters, one win (photo: Dave Arrigo/Pirates)
Locke tossed a nice game; the only pitch he'd like back was against Wong, and all the Buc hurlers seem to have that problem. It's good to see the offense heat up with the weather, and the series victory should provide a nice shot in the arm for the Pirates.

They're off on a seven game road trip, with Gerrit Cole taking on Jerome Williams tomorrow night in Philadelphia.

  • Cutch has doubled in four straight games; knock on wood, his slump has ended.
  • Jung-Ho Kang now has nine RBI, fourth on the team.
  • Mark Melancon has eight straight scoreless outings under his belt.
  • Amazin' fact: Six of Kolten Wong's 16 career home runs have come against the Pirates.
  • This was the first series of the season that the Cards lost.
  • The Bucs continue to stock up on lefties for their system. They just picked up LHP Jayson Aquino, 22, from the Blue Jays, which had DFA'ed him, for cash. Aquino was 2-2 with 2.81 ERA in five starts at Class A Dunedin, and the Pirates will assign him to Class A Bradenton.
  • Who'd of thunk it? Wandy Rodriguez set a Texas Rangers record today by retiring 34 straight hitters over two games.
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