Sunday, September 20, 2015

Pirates Take Series With 4-3 Win Over Dodgers

The Bucs tried to get off on the right foot against Mike Bolsinger, but Cutch and A-Ram were left stranded by The Kid. Gerrit is a slow starter, and the Bucs like to get into an early hole for some unknown reason. Today was no different. Carl Fowler tripled to lead off when his ball kicked back toward the infield after kissing the RF wall. After a pair of whiffs, Andre Ethier singled off a hung 1-2 spinner to make it 1-0.

Pittsburgh tied it quickly. Fran singled to open, and two outs later, LA went into Little League mode, with Bolsinger throwing away Cole's bleeder, followed by Scott Van Slyke tossing the ball into the seats trying to cut down Francisco at the plate. Joc Pederson just as quickly untied it. he singled and stole a base and came home on Alex Guerrero's knock to left. Guerrero wasn't as lucky; he became Marte's 15th gun out trying to get to second.

Starling knotted it up again in the third with a crushed leadoff homer. Cutch walked but the rally was short-circuited by a DP and whiff. Cory Seager doubled with two down for the Dodgers and was left aboard.The Pirates took the lead in the fourth on Pedro's bomb; LA went down quietly.

Gregory bunted for a knock to start the fifth, and was forced out by Starling. Cutch walked for the third time, and Yimi Garcia climbed the hill. A-Ram made them pay by singling home Marte for an insurance run that would prove big. A strike 'em out, throw 'em DP finished the frame; not really sure why Cutch was on the move, as Ramirez stayed anchored at first. the Dodgers were 1-2-3'ed. Carlos Garcia took over, and allowed a single; Cole kept cruising.

Gerrit whiffed nine on the way to his 17th win (photo Ed Absalon/USA Today)

Garcia gave up a two out knock to Cutch and shut the door. The Blue crept back in the game, though, with Van Slyke's homer cutting the lead to 4-3. Jim Johnson took the ball in the eighth and stranded Neil at second after a lead off double. Tony Watson silenced LA.

The Bucs blew a chance to pad the lead in the ninth against JP Howell. Micheal Morse singled; Gregory bounced into a DP. Righty Juan Nicasio came in, and Starling singled, then went to second on a misfired pick off. Cutch was walked intentionally. Josh beat out an infield hit, but Marte hit third and headed home, only to be caught in a rundown to end the inning. He was sent home, but slowing down as he came to third, maybe surprised at Sofield's windmill. Insurance run or not, Mark the Shark did his closer thing without a hitch, extending his team single-season save record to 48, and the Pirates took 2-of-3 from the Dodgers,

OK - nice win, especially considering the Pirates hit into two GIDP and ran themselves into another. Now four to go with the Rox before showtime against the Cubs at Wrigley and the Cards in Pittsburgh. AJ opens the series against Jon Gray.

  • Respect: Cutch was walked four times today to go with a hit. He was the only player on either team to be issued a free pass today.
  • The Pirates have allowed a first-inning run in nine of past 11 games.
  • Pedro moved ahead of Richie Hebner for 13th on the club's all-time home run list with 129 long balls.
  • It was 97 degrees out when the first pitch was tossed in sunny LA.
  • The Cardinals beat the Cubs, 4-3, so the Pirates are four back of St. Louis and two ahead of Chicago.

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