The Braves scored first when Chris Johnson homered in the second, barely clearing Cutch's leap to drop into the CF stands. They manufactured another in the third when Cameron Maybin singled, stole second, moved up on a grounder and plated on a sac fly.
The fourth was especially frustrating. Cutch's homer with El Coffee aboard tied the game, and Locke appeared to be on his way to a 1-2-3 inning to get the team back to the bat rack. Instead, Mr. Nibbles walked Jonny Gomes after two were away, batting seventh at .208, ignored him on first, allowing him to easily swipe second (his first steal since 2013) and then leaving a 1-2 fastball right down the middle to the #8 hitter, Christian Bethancourt (.205) who lined it into left for the go-ahead run. Needless to say, the pitcher was on deck with first base open, hardly the time to be serving up BP.
|Cutch moved into a tie for 10th with Kevin Young in all-time Bucco homers last night.|
(photo: Dave Arrigo/Pirates)
Pittsburgh was where they wanted to be, against Atlanta's pen. JHK's bouncer moved the guys up a station, and Gregory's two-out single tied the game. Jared Hughes added another zip to the board, and old Bucco Jason grilli did the same in the top of the ninth.
Vance Worley came in and one pitch later, the Pirates had their eighth walk-off loss (to go with zero walk-off wins) as Bethancourt went deep for his first MLB homer, a slicer that just tucked itself inside the RF foul pole and beyond Gregory's sizable reach. It wasn't a gimme pitch, but a cutter down and away that Bethancourt yanked just enough to end the Bucco winning streak.
Gerrit Cole takes on Alex Wood in the rubber match this afternoon.
- Gregory Polanco has a 10 game hitting steak. In fact, he had three of the Bucs six hits, two RBI and a run scored. Cutch has rung up a seven game hitting string.
- The Bucs are 0-for-8 in walk off decisions, 0-for-6 in extra innings, and 7-for-18 in one run games.
- Per Steve Nesbitt of the Post Gazette, AJ spotted Michael Keaton in the stands last night and tossed him an autographed ball that said "To Batman, From Batman. Thanks for paving the road ahead - AJ Burnett."
- The latest report on Andrew Lambo is the same report - still rehabbing, not ready for game action yet.