Starling doubled with an out in the sixth and Freeser followed with, yep, another walk. That was it for Rodriguez as Heath Hembree took the ball. He did his job, whiffing J-Hay, but the Bucs were off and running on the 1-2 pitch and the catcher's toss to third was wayward, allowing Marte to scamper home. Chad stranded a two-out Mookie Betts knock that ended Kuhl's consecutive out streak at 13.
|Chad held up his end of the deal today (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)|
Stew doubled to begin the seventh; a Jordy knock put runners on the corners with one away. But Bucs and RISP don't play nice together and a Marte whiff followed by a Cutch fly left them there. After giving up a one-out, hard-hit infield single that ticked off J-Hay's mitt, Chad's excellent day (one run, five hits, six K on 92 tosses) was done and Felipe Rivero took the hill. He got a 5-4 force that was bang-bang after Goose covered the bag a little leisurely and almost missed brushing it, but the call withstood a challenge and Felipe cruised out.
Matt Barnes toed the rubber and added another goose egg to the scoreboard in the eighth. Daniel Hudson, who threw a ton of pitches last night, took his turn. He gave up a walk and a knock (the Bucs almost had a force on the dink to center, but Goose couldn't handle the throw to second) brought in Juan Nicasio with an out. A four pitch walk loaded the bases, and Hanley Ramirez doubled home a pair on a ball played not-so-well by Starling, who came in and watched the ball sail over his head. The only saving grace was the lead run, originally called safe at home, was overturned on review. It was only a temporary reprieve; a two-out single put the Red Sox up 4-3.
|And so did Freeser (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)|
Craig Kimbrel was touched for a leadoff single by Fraze. Fran fought to a full count before flying out to the track in right. Frazier tried to steal second with Jordy up and appeared to have the throw beat, but hit the dirt too soon, short-sliding himself into an out. A Mercer bouncer ended it.
Sometimes the other team beats you; sometimes you beat yourself, and that's what the Pirates did today. Mental and physical fielding gaffes, prime time base-running blues, bullpen implosion (and iffy management)...sigh. Off to Chicago tomorrow wearing a four-game string of losses.
- Gregory had two knocks for the Pirates and Fresser reached all four times he batted with a single and three walks.
- The Pirates iron-glove work has been a season-long issue. Fangraphs rated them as the second-worst defense in baseball coming into today's game.
- Hanley Ramirez v Juan Nicasio in the eighth was not the match Clint wanted - Hanley is 8-for-15 lifetime against Juan.
- Our condolences to the Rooney family; Steeler owner Dan Rooney passed away this afternoon at age 84. That's on top of Tom Modrak's recent death. He had spent 20 years as the Steeler's pro scouting guy and was the GM at both Philly and Buffalo afterward.