Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Bucs Go Down 5-2; Uncle Ray Extended For Two More Years

Gerrit Cole and Brent Suter were exchanging early zeroes. Cole Train struck out the first two Brewers in the second and had Eric Thames 0-2. He tried to sneak a heater past him (and it was up and away) but Thames pulled it anyway and dumped it into the RF stands to make it 1-0. The Bucs answered quickly. S-Rod singled, Stew walked and Gerrit bunted them up. A Jordy bouncer tied it and a J-Lup bloop put the Pirates up 2-1. The Brew Crew punched back. They loaded the bases with no one out. Cole got a K, but Ryan Braun's grounder to short didn't have enough ooomph to turn into a DP and the force tied the game. An intentional walk to Travis Shaw after a Braun steal loaded the sacks again and Domingo Santana spanked a two-run two-bagger. A single flagged down in short right scored one run; another was chopped down at home. S-Rod, who was shifted and whose dive stopped the ball, limped off the field with a trainer.

J-Lup had a couple of knocks tonight.

Jeremy Jeffress took the ball in the fourth; Suter still isn't stretched out from his DL visit. He walked a pair of Bucs, but with two outs and a benchful of players, Clint let Gerrit bat to end the inning. The Pirates opened the fifth with back-to-back raps. Cutch and Freeser each saw one strike yet both struck out and a grounder ended the frame. Oliver Drake took the ball in the sixth, faced lefty El Coffee and then turned the hurling over to Jared Hughes; the Brew Crew has no problems using the limitless September bullpen. The Pirates dipped into their's in the seventh, calling on Edgar Santana after the Brewers had worked Anthony Swarzak. Josh Hader climbed the mound in the eighth for an uneventful frame, then Jack Leathersich answered the call for Pittsburgh. He lived up to his billing: lots of pitches (21), a hit, a walk, a K and no runs, looking more comfortable as the inning went along. Corey Knebel came on for the save and nailed it with a pair of K.

12 strikeouts tonight and nine were from everyday players, not the call-ups. There's always that dynamic in September when the team's a spoiler rather than a contender - the regulars are ready for the beach while the kids want a never-ending summer. It shows more often than not.

  • Jordan Luplow had two hits. S-Rod had a knock and a walk and Stew walked twice. The Pirates had six hits. Pittsburgh is 27th in runs scored at 602 and BA at .245.
  • Gerrit Cole went six innings, giving up five runs on seven hits, two walks (one intentional) & 10 Ks after 96 tosses.
  • Rob Biertempfel of the Trib reports that the Pirates have agreed with pitching coach Ray Searage on a two-year extension. His contract was set to expire in October.
  • Altoona beat Trenton, 2-1, in game one of the Eastern League Championship behind winner Brandon Waddell and Tanner Anderson, who got the save.

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