The Pirates used some two out lightning in the third. Jordy lined out and Jay K'ed. back-to-back singles by Gregory and Starling set up Cutch, who doubled the opposite way for a 2-0 lead. A grounder, walk and 4-6-3 DP tucked the Fish away.
The Kid and Fran walked on nine pitches to start the fourth, but the bottom three hitters couldn't take advantage. Jay tossed a 1-2-3 frame. The Pirates set up shop with a Gregory double, Starling walk and Cutch single, but JHK hit into a 5-2-3 DP, with Martin Prado making a very nice play of yet another hard hit ball The Kid walked to load 'em again, but Fran popped out on the first pitch; not much plate discipline there. With two gone, Koehler rapped a 1-2 heater off the plate to first and off Pedro's mitt for an infield knock, but Jay got Dee Gordon on a bouncer.
Jordy singled with one gone in the sixth and was bunted up, but El Coffee flew out deep to center to strand him. The Fish went down in order; we'll see if Jay gets another frame while at 94 pitches.
|JA Happ was tough again (photo Frank Franklin/AP)|
Erik Cordier came in for the eighth. Sean got plunked after a tight first pitch, Cordier was ejected, and the Marlins stormed plate ump Jeff Kellogg, who apparently saw enough last inning. After they settled down, Scott McGough came in. Jordy hit a roller to first and was rung up; the Bucs challenged and he was still out; maybe if his knee was 100%, he'd have beat the rap. An out later, Gregory's fourth hit brought Sean home. Tony Watson came in and gave up a leadoff single. Two outs later, the Fish got another hit, but Tony wriggled out unscathed.
Old Bucco Bryan Morris climbed the mound. He walked the bases loaded with two down, then lost Jordy on four pitches (two were borderline). That brought in Mike Dunn to face Josh, who grounded out to short. Antonio Bastardo jogged in and gave up a first pitch single to Ozuna. After taking a close two strike pitch, McGehee singled to right to put Fish on the corners, and Clint waved in the Shark. He traded a run for a DP...maybe. The bang-bang call at first was challenged and overturned. No biggie; the next grounder was a DP, and the Bucs had a 5-2 win. Jay claimed his second Bucco win and Mark his 40th save.
Coulda been a bigger win; maybe some of those loud outs will find grass in the remaining three games. It'd be nice to give the pen a blow. But hey, 27 games over .500 is the Bucs high water mark and best spread since 1992. Charlie Morton takes on Brad hand tomorrow.
- Gregory Polanco had a season high four hits tonight. His only out was hit on the nose. Cutch added a pair of knocks.
- Mark Melancon's 40 saves lead the majors.
- Tonight was Cutch's 1,000th game in the majors. Been a pretty good run so far.
- Jay Happ has been averaging a whiff per inning (22K:21-2/3IP) as a Bucco.
- Jared Hughes has had a tough month. He's been touched for 14 hits in 9-1/3 IP since July 31st, and charged with five earned runs.
- The Marlins' Scott McGough went to Plum High, and was actually drafted out of HS by the Bucs. He opted to go to Oregon.