|Jose went 4-for-5 with a walk (photo via MLB Pipeline)|
The Pirates added another in the fourth on four singles but left more runs on the table when Jordy bounced into an inning-ending bases-loaded DP. The Fish went down in order. The fifth was another frame the Buccos ended with a DP ball while the Marlins stranded a pair. The Pirates opened the sixth with a single and grounded into yet another DP. But left with an out, Gift and Alen Hanson hit back-to-back triples to make at 11-1. JT was done after 95 pitches and Johnny Barbato made his first Pirates appearance while Gift went to short and Hanson to second. Miami drew a walk but no blood. Junichi Tazawa gave up a free pass while putting up a zippo in the seventh but surprisingly couldn't coax a twin killing. It was 1-2-3 for Johnny.
Pittsburgh loaded the bases with no outs in the eighth against Kyle Barraclough. He got a force at home before he was nicked for J-Hay's RBI sac fly. Dustin McGowan came on to K the Goose and quell the uprising. Wade LeBlanc took his turn. He gave up a run on a check-swing double that was barely fair (Clint, who had already issued two challenges tonight, came out to question the call, earning a barrage of boos from the Miami fans) and a pair of two-out infield singles. Ichiro was caught looking at a 3-2 pitch (borderline high, but the umps like to get home, too) to escape the jam. The Bucs stranded a walk in the ninth, the Marlins left a single go to waste and it was time to raise the Jolly Roger.
|Gift went 3-for-3 with a triple and two walks (photo Dave Arrigo/Pirates)|
No carping tonight; the guys fielded cleanly, piled up a dozen runs and put 27 runners aboard (18 hits, 8 walks, one HBP). Too bad JT couldn't keep his pitch count down, but after an off day, the pen should be OK despite working four frames.
- Per Joe Block: Gift Ngoepe is the first Pirate since Eddie Moore in 1923 to reach base five times (3-for-3, two walks) in his first MLB start. It wasn't Jose Osuna's first start (it was his fifth if you're keeping count), but he had four hits and reached base five times too (4-for-5, one walk). J-Hay had three hits, Fran two hits plus a walk and J-Bell one knock with two walks.
- This is the first time since August of 2013 that the Pirates hit three triples in a game. It was a good game for the sticks - all eight starters and sub Alen Hanson had hits.
- With Gift's start at second tonight, Clint has penciled in five different guys for the spot in the past six games.
- Miami pitchers threw 211 pitches tonight. If the club looked a little bushed on the field, there was good reason: this is their first game home after finishing a franchise-record 7,162-mile road trip.
- 22-year-old RHP Luis Heredia, a once highly touted prospect who has been with the Pirates since 2011, has been promoted to AA Altoona. That's good news on a couple of fronts. Not only is he finally in an upper level, but he started the year in extended training with some physical issues. Luis dropped 20 pounds and is ready to rock 'n' roll.