|JT twirled five shutout innings in his return (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)|
JT threw five scoreless innings, allowing five hits, two walks and fanning five; nice to see ya' again, Jamo. 82 pitches were enough after three straight stressful frames and Wade LeBlanc took his place. LeBlanc ran into two-down woes in the sixth; a double and single put the Rox on the scoreboard. The Bucs got it back after J-Bell, J-Hay and Gregory singles; the soft parade also brought Scott Oberg into the game for the Mile High nine. Tony Watson worked the seventh and gave up three knocks, but sprinkled a DP and whiff around to frustrate Colorado. Pittsburgh filled the sacks with an out against Oberg and LHP Chris Rusin took the ball with JJ up. Jaso fell behind 0-2 but still manged to draw a walk in a big-boy at-bat. A Mad Max sac fly brought in another tally, then an intentional walked juiced the sacks again. El Coffee couldn't keep the party going, popping out in his lefty-on-lefty matchup.
Edgar Santana took the bump in the eighth. An opening K was followed by a couple of walks (with a dash of some "welcome to the league" ump squeezing involved), but no sweat - the ol' 4-6-3 DP came to his rescue. Rusin spun a clean frame. Jhan Marinez took his turn in the conga line for the ninth. He gave up a double and wild pitch that turned into a run after a grounder, then fanned the next two to take it home.
|Mad Max & J-Hay each scored twice from the top of the order (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)|
Can't say that the the team stole a 7-2 win, but the Rox had comeback chances, stranding 10 and going 1-for-11 w/RISP. Of course, the Bucs had 11 LOB too, so it was a good day to at least pad the batting averages (there were 22 hits) if not the RBI column. Kinda nice to start the series with a win and it should be an interesting set if both clubs keep on shakin' the sticks like they did tonight.
- J-Hay's hitting streak is now at 10 games. He had two hits and a walk today; Freeser and Joey O (he's up to .260 w/.784 OPS) also had a pair of hits. Jordy and Cutch had a knock and a walk tonight. Mad Max worked a free pass and got nicked to reach twice.
- Jhan Marinez, even with today's earned run, has tossed to a 2.51 ERA as a Pirate.
- The Pirates drew 16,320 to the ballyard.
The Bucs drafted a Texas high school arm, Shane Baz, at #12. The last time the Pirates used their first pick on a high school pitcher was when they selected Jameson Taillon second overall in 2010, and that worked out OK. Shane a fair-sized 17-year-old at 6'3" with a mid-nineties heater, cutter/slider & curve while working on a changeup and is considered a high-ceiling guy. Sounds like a good catch by Neal & the gang. The only possible downer is that he's a TCU commit and is expected to be a costly sign, but he sounds like he's ready to make the jump if the money is right.
|(image via Pittsburgh Pirates)|