Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Late Fireworks Lead Royals To Rubber Game Win 5-1

Good first frame for both Eddie Volquez and Charlie. Eddie put the Bucs away 1-2-3; Charlie would have done the same but for a two-out plunk. In the second, the Bucs led off with back-to-back knocks by Starling and JHK, but a whiff and DP calmed those waters. The Royals went down in order.

In the third, Jaff Decker walked and an out later, Gregory doubled. A sac fly by The Kid put the Pirates up 1-0, then Charlie sat down KC three up, three down. A little bad luck in the fourth: Starling dropped down a bunt single and JHK had another knock to start, and after a whiff, Stew and Jaff hit rockets, but both at 'em balls and the Bucs had another zero. Morton ran into his first rough seas, giving up a crushed 452' blast to Eric Hosmer and a double to Kendrys Morales with an out, but got the last two Royals routinely as the score was knotted.

Pittsburgh couldn't do anything with Neil's two out single. Jarrod Dyson was plunked with an out, but a DP erased that threat. The left side of the Bucco infield, Pedro Florimon and JHK, are picking everything their way, perfect with Ground Chuck on the hill. Eddie worked a clean sixth. With two gone, Hosmer doubled and remained at second.

Charlie - a batter too many (photo Dave Arrigo/Pirates)
It was another yawn of an inning for the Pirates in the seventh. Salvador Perez drew an opening walk, and a force out later, a single put Royals on the corners with the speedy Dyson up. He laid down a bunt and Ishy came home with the throw, but Omar Infante beat the rap. The Bucs didn't think so and they challenged the safe call. It looked as if he may have barely missed touching the plate, but the close call stood and it was 2-1. After a punch out, Charlie fell behind Mike Moustakas 3-0, gave him a belt high heater, and he lined it over the RF fence to pretty much ice the game at 5-1. Clint doesn't like to match up, and it hurt when the lefty Moose lit up a tiring Charlie; he brought Antonio Bastardo in a batter too late.

Cutch singled with two outs in the eighth, as did Starling. That brought on Wade Davis, who got Kang to fly out. Deolis Guerra gave up a soft single to center to Morales and a bullet double to Perez with an out, but came back to whiff Infante and Alex Rios. Ryan Madson came in for the mop up and swept the Bucs up easily with a pair of whiffs.

"Can't score, can't win" about sums it up. KC's lineup doesn't dazzle with star power, but it's solid all the way through. Their .275 BA is second in the majors, and they can string together a big inning. With Josh, Jordy and Fran out, the Bucco order goes five deep, and in an AL town, that doesn't cut it.

They're back home tomorrow night to try to recapture their pre-All Star mojo, with Frankie Liriano going against Doug Fister.

  • Tonight was JHK's third straight multi-hit game, and Kang finished the series batting .500 by going 2-for-4 in all three games.
  • Starling and Jung Ho went 5-for-8; the rest of the team 3-for-25.
  • Charlie has given up a homer a game this season; in his two prior campaigns, it was a homer every two games.
  • The Pirates struck out double-digit times in all three games, whiffing 35 times in the series.
  • KC was pumped up for this series; all three mid-week games were sellouts drawing 106,000 fans total.
  • The report on the Hit Man, Matt Hague, as he toils for Toronto in AAA. 

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