Ground Chuck was back for the second, getting a pair of bouncers before whiffing Lyons. A-Ram opened with a Texas League single between three fielders. Starling smoked one up the middle; the Cards were squeezed for the DP, Peralta took one step and turned two 6-4-3. Michael Morse banged one high of the Clemente Wall, but just foul, and then grounded out.
In the third, the Redbirds chased Morton. Carpenter doubled into the corner, Jay was drilled in the thigh while trying to bunt, and Peralta walked. That brought a chorus of boos, Clint and Bobby LaFromboise to the mound in that order. Heyward got ahead 2-1, got a center cut heater and banged a grand salami to right center. The next three outs came quietly, but the Pirates are in a six run hole. They went down in order again, with Heyward robbing Cervelli with a diving catch of his dying liner to center.
Joe Blanton came in for the fourth, and gave up a walk but put up a zero. The Bucs had another typical frame - line out, whiff, fly out to the track. Joe tossed a clean fifth. The first two Pirates whiffed chasing, then Heyward took a ball off the Clemente Wall smacked by Morse, pulling it in just under the "21" logo. Blanton kept dealing, surrendering just a quail single that Cutch missed by a half step. Lyons was takin' a cruise; he's faced the minimum so far.
Arqimedes Caminero took the hill in the seventh, and didn't help the cause. Jay walked, went to second on a wild pitch and scored on Peralta's single. Heyward then doubled, but a pair of tappers closed the tap with the score now 7-0. The Bucs put three hits together, but still couldn't score. Josh singled to lead off, and El Coffee one hopped the next pitch to short for a 6-4-3. Cutch followed with a knock and A-Ram rolled a soft double to left. Starling then bounced out on the following pitch.
|This sez it all about tonight...|
The Pirates broke through, but a base running brain cramp cost them a second tally (not that it mattered much). Morse walked, then Stew banged one to the bullpen. Jay called it, missed the catch, and the ball took a high hop. At that point, Morse apparently thought it was going into the pen for a ground rule double, but it came down, hit the top padding, and bounced in play. Jay held the ball up and waved it for some reason, but Morse, head down, missed Rick Sofield's windmill as he trotted toward third; poor Stew was halfway to the hot corner before he saw him anchored there. A grounder scored Morse, but Stew never got in.
Rob gave up a couple more in the ninth on a Kolten Wong double and Tony Cruz bomb. Carlos Villanueva finished up. Polanco doubled to open, but Villanueva sliced and diced through Travis Snider, Pedro Florimon and Elias Diaz to bring it home.
Congrats to the Redbirds; 100 wins in the bank despite an injury list as long as your arm. For the Bucs, they couldn't break Lance Lynn or dent Tyler Lyons. Now they have to take care of business against the Reds this weekend and get ready to take on da Cubbies Monday.
- Charlie has made 23 starts and given up 23 first inning runs. He hasn't made it to the fifth inning in his last three starts.
- The Pirates used six pitchers; Joe Blanton, who tossed three frames, was the only one who wasn't scored upon.
- The attendance was 34,279 fans.
- Tyler Lyons went seven innings for only the third time in his career, and for the first time since 2013.
- The Cards are the first team to clinch a title at PNC Park. The last opposing team to clinch before them were the Phillies in 1993.
- The Cubs won; we know Cole Train and Jake will go for the gusto on Wednesday, October 7th at 8:08 on TBS. It's still uncertain where the game will be; the Pirates magic number for a home match is two.