Frankie's control left him in the second; Anthony Rizzo singled on a 3-1 pitch; Jorge Soler flew out on a green-lighted 3-0 pitch, and an out later, David Ross walked. Liriano took care of Lester to end it. A-Ram singled to open; JHK struck out looking, and Fran watched Ramirez get picked off first by vet David Ross; it'd be nice if we could keep a runner on base.
After eight pitches and the count 3-2; the ump called for the tarps as the rain came down, and heavily. When it restarted at 9:55 ( two hour, nine minute delay), both starters were done for the night. Rafael Soriano and Joe Blanton took over; nothing like burning up the pen in the first game of the series. Fran whiffed, and it's on to the third frame.
Joe gave up a run on a two-out single by Rizzo to score Addison Russell, who was aboard thanks to a dying flare to open the frame. The Bucs answered with Gregory's double in their half. Pittsburgh was working on a big frame - Miike Morse doubled and S-Rod walked, but Blanton, who's been in the AL the last two years, couldn't get a bunt down. Polanco's two-bagger (off LHP Travis Wood) only brought in one run, and S-Rod was thrown out at home on Starling Marte's bouncer during the next at bat, less a TOOTBLAN than a nice fielding play by Wood.
|The ground crew provided most of the action last night (photo via Pgh Pirates)|
- The NL Rookie of the Month is Jung-Ho Kang. His July line: .379, 3 HR, 9 RBI, 18 R, 13 XBH, .443 OBP. Gerrit Cole was the last Bucco to get the nod in September, 2013.
- AJ Burnett was diagnosed with a flexor strain in his right elbow today. He received a PRP injection and his estimated time of return is approximately four weeks. That's about as good of news as AJ could receive. We think the recovery date is optimistic, but AJ has soldiered on before, so we'll see...
- BTW, Clayton Richard was DFA'ed again today by the Cubs.