Friday, May 29, 2015

JHK, Starling, El Coffee Go Deep In 11-5 Romp

OK, we knew sooner or later AJ had to toss a clunker. But unlike a month ago, he survived quite nicely, thank you, as the Pirates gave the fans in the outfield stands three souvenirs on their way to an 11-5 victory at Petco Park.

Again, it started with two outs. With The Kid aboard after a single, Starling Marte was drilled in the arm. Then Ian Kennedy hung a slider to Jung-Ho, and he launched it into the second tier in left to make it 3-0. Gregory led off the second with a bomb to center. Starling put two more runs on the Bucco board with a shot to left behind Cutch's single.

The following frame, Cutch's ground rule double brought home Fran Cervelli; the Bucs may have lost a run when the ball bounced into the stands, freezing Josh at third. Still, up 7-0 is a good place to be.

Cutch catches fire and so does the Buc attack... (photo: Denis Poroy/Getty Images)

Pittsburgh tried to let the Padres back in the game. Kang's decision to go for the lead runner at third in the fourth misfired, and he came in when Pedro fielded a grounder, stepped on first, and then, with plays at second or home (either was a likely out), locked up and ate the ball.

Pedro had another brain freeze in the fifth. On a grounder to Neil Walker with a runner on, Alvarez was napping, expecting a throw to second; when The Kid saw first wasn't covered, he tried to hold up his throw and instead knuckle-balled the toss toward the dugout. Fran Cervelli doubled up on the miscue by hustling to back up the play and then launching an errant toss of his own.

All the antics led to just one unearned run - mental errors don't count on the scorecard - but the Friars had cut the lead to 7-4. And it could have been much worse; AJ had two aboard with no outs, but picked up his teammates with a couple of whiffs. He added to the merriment by tossing a wild pitch, but got a fly to Cutch to cap the damage.

The Pirates bats were still smokin', though. Josh and Cutch doubled runs home and a way bad throw allowed two more Buccos to scamper across the plate, making the score 11-4. The Padres used a couple of singles and a DP ball to cut it to 11-5, and there it ended as Jared Hughes, Vanimal and Antonio Bastardo mopped up.

Francisco Liriano will try to keep the good times rolling as he faces undefeated James Shields tonight.

  • That's seven in a row for the Bucs, and Jung-Ho has a nifty little ten-game hitting streak going on now. All the Pirate wins in this streak have been credited to the starting pitcher.
  • The Kid, Cutch, and Fran had three hits each while Josh and Gregory added a pair. The 11 runs were the Pirates season high and the 15 hits tied for the most collected in a game this year.
  • The Bucs had scored 13 consecutive runs with two outs until Gregory Polanco's lead-off homer.
  • San Diego's starters had a string of nine consecutive quality starts snapped last night.
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