Friday, June 19, 2015

Bucs Eke Out 3-2 Victory As Streak Reaches Eight Games

Ya know, sometimes a win is a little harder to collect than it should be. The Pirates outhit the Pale Hose 13-3, but stranded 10 runners and went 1-for-8 with RISP to go with eight whiffs, three DP's and a caught stealing. But the pitching, well, it kept right on a rollin', and the offense pushed across an eighth inning run for the victory.

Gerrit Cole was tough enough once again, giving up two runs on three hits, three walks and four K over seven innings. He hasn't had his best stuff for the past three games; it'll be scary when he's in the zone again. And while the Pirate rotation has been getting lotsa love, the bullpen continued to be lights out with Arquimedes Caminero and Mark the Shark combining for a six up, six down close out of the White Sox.

Arquimedes Caminero shut down the Sox (photo - Reinhold Matay/USA Today)
The Pirates drew first blood in the third when Jung-Ho's ball deflected off Jeff Samardzija's glove for an infield single, scoring Starling Marte, who had reached on a fielder's choice.

The White Sox manufactured their first run in the fourth. Jose Abreu opened the frame with a bloop double, dropping a curveball the opposite way. He moved to third on Adam LaRoche's deep fly to center and scored on Melky Cabrera's sac fly. The Pirates answered in the fifth. With the bases loaded, Jordy Mercer scored on Josh's one-out sac fly to reclaim the lead at 2-1.

The White Sox tied the game after Geovany Soto's two-out homer in the seventh off a fat 3-2 heater. The Bucs responded again in the eighth. JHK reached on an infield hit with one out against reliever Jake Petricka. That brought in reinvented LOOGY Zack Duke to face a pair of Bucco lefties, and tonight, the batters won. Jung Ho moved to third on Pedro's single to center and touched home on El Coffee's slow tapper, thwarting the Sox who were playing at DP depth.

Arqie (yes, Tony Watson can take a guilt-free day off every so often) and The Shark made sure that run held up. Mark even added a cherry on top with a pair of punch outs. Now it's on to Washington tonight as AJ opens the three-gamer against Joe Ross.

  • Cole's MLB-leading 11th win puts him in some fast company. The last Pirate to get this 11th win by June 18th was The Baron of the Bullpen, Elroy Face, in 1959 when he went 18-1. The last Buccaneer to win his 11th by the season’s 66th game was The Deacon, Vern Law (he did it in 59 contests), who went 20-9 in 1960.
  • Gerrit has also been a model of dependability. Last night was his seventh consecutive outing allowing two or fewer runs.
  • Corey Hart served us a crow sandwich last night. He was a late addition to the lineup when Neil Walker fell ill, and went 3-for-3 as the DH with as many knocks as the entire White Sox team. Four other Bucs - Josh, Starling, Jung-Ho and Pedro - had two hits each. Stew reached twice too, but the hard way with a walk and HBP.
  • Cutch made another web gem grab last night, one of a series he's snagged lately. Remember those often wall-kissing catches next time the "he plays too deep" debate breaks out - yah, Andrew gives up singles, but in exchange takes away extra bases.
  • The Bucs are shooting for nine in a row, last done by the 2013 club. This is also the ream's eighth series sweep of the season.
  • Mark the Shark leads the NL in saves with 23 and has converted 21 consecutive save chances.
  • Geovany Soto's homer was the first given up by a Pirate pitcher in 76 frames.
  • Chicago has lost seven in a row and its last three series.

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