The Pirates started quickly - A-Ram's single brought home Cutch - and ended with some noise, as the Bucs tacked on another run in the ninth and brought up the tying run before the smoke cleared. In between, they managed just five more hits off Brad Hand, who lasted until the final frame; the eight inning stint was the longest stint the 25 year old has worked.
Charlie Morton got a couple of bad breaks - and what would a Charlie start be without those? - in yielding his first two runs. The first tally came in when Justin Bour doubled on a 3-2 hook after given new life. The pitch before looked like it caught him looking, but he got the call and took advantage. The second came around when Cutch booted a ball in center.
In the sixth, though, it was a different story. Charlie's hook, a killer pitch the past two games, was staying up and the Fish banged it around. A bunt single plus a couple of hard hit two-baggers brought in a pair, and Jared Hughes continued his dismal August by giving up another double following a wild pitch. He also allowed three stolen bases.
The little things that regularly bite the Bucs couldn't be overcome today. Dee Gordon stole four bases (a career high for Dee; the Fish had five on the night), A-Ram had an RBI but also a pair of DP and the fielding was less than airtight, although a mixed bag as both Polanco and Marte gunned out runners at third. Usually, those are just speedbumps, but Hand's off speed arsenal kept the bats in check. Like Monday night, the Pirates hit the ball hard, but tonight finding that patch of grass was even more difficult.
Jeff Locke will face Chris Naverson tonight.
- The middle of the order (Cutch, A-Ram, Fran) went 6-for-11 last night, but the table setters, Gregory and Starling, went 0-for-8 with three whiffs.
- The loss ended a six game Pirate winning streak against the Marlins.
- Christian Yelich returned to the Miami lineup.
- SS Pedro Florimon cleared waivers and was sent to Indy.
- The Cubs and Cards won last night, not news but still...