Saturday, July 22, 2017

Bucs Bully Rox 13-5 In Opener

Neither Jeff Hoffman nor Trevor Williams covered themselves in glory at the start. The Bucs scored a pair, greased by a walk and a couple of infield knocks. The Rox did one better, also using a walk with a bloop mixed in with some well-struck balls to plate their three runs. Oh, and both sides grounded into DPs or lookout, scoreboard...! A couple of walks in the second (one to Trevor), a bopped batter and J-Bell's bases-clearing double made it 5-3. The Rox led off with a double, but a bad bunt and another DP kept them quiet. The Bucs evened that out by stranding Cervy who led off the third with a triple. Colorado got a walk and another GIDP as Trevor cruised. Pittsburgh cashed in again in the fourth against Jordan Lyle when J-Hay's two-bagger was followed by Cutch's RBI knock. A single and plunk loaded the bases. Gregory tried to hit into a DP too, but the Rox wouldn't cooperate as a run scored and El Coffee left the game with an apparent bum wheel. Another plunk loaded them again so that Jordy could roll into a DP, sheesh. Trevo tossed a clean inning.

After a first inning whuppin', Trevo tamed the Rox (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)

Williams led off the fifth with a dink single and it led to a run two outs later when Cutch's knock chased Starling home to make it 8-3. Trevor made it eight Rox in a row. With two gone in the sixth, Cervy singled and Jordy, who's been swinging an icicle lately, caught a 2-0 fastball and launched it 444' into souvenir-land. Trevo's streak ended at nine batters when Nolan Arenado lost a ball. Scott Oberg took the ball in the seventh. Two hits sandwiched around a walk produced a run and back-to-back grounders plated another. Trevor got two outs - one took 15 pitches - and was yanked after a rap at 104 twirls. Jhan Marinez came in and gave up a run-scoring double; sometimes we think a third of Trevo's runs are scored off relievers. Mike Dunn took the ball in the eighth and survived a Marinez double. Jhan celebrated with a 1-2-3 frame. Jairo Diaz got two quick outs, then a J-Bell triple, plunk, walk and Amore rap added another point; Freeser was gunned down out home trying to score behind Bell. Colorado opened with an infield knock to delay the inevitable.

Cutch had himself another day (photo USA Today Sports)
Give Trevor credit; he shut down a team that can hit it after a Nightmare on Elm Street start, even lookin' good the third time through the order. Cutch and J-Bell keep chasing runners home and Starling looks like he's in the right spot at the top of the order. Nobody has run away with the Central yet; it's still a four-team melee. Good times at last.

  • This was J-Bell's first four hit night; he fell a homer shy of the cycle. Cutch had three raps and two walks; the dynamic duo drove in seven runs and scored four times. Fran added three hits. Starling had two knocks and touched home four times, equaling his career high for a game, and stole two bases.
  • Gregory left the game with "left hamstring discomfort."
  • The Pirates have won six straight; the Rox win streak was broken at four.
  • Jhan Marinez's two-bagger was his first MLB hit (of course, it was only his eighth at-bat; relievers don't get many cuts.)
  • The Rox pitchers not only hit a lot of Bucco bats, but they also hit four Pirates batters.
  • The Brewers and Cubs lost, so the Pirates are two games out of first in the division and 6-1/2 behind the Rox for the second wild-card.

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