Monday, August 15, 2011

Bucs Back On Track With 6-2 win

Well, back home from Zombieland. Hopefully the Bucs can lick their mostly self-inflicted Milwaukee wounds and take out their frustrations on the Cards.

Good enough start. J-Mac put the Cards down in order, striking out Sir Albert. Xavier Paul got the Pirates on top against Jake Westbrook about as quickly as you can, homering the opposite way over the bullpen gate on the second pitch to put the Bucs up 1-0 after a frame.

Matt Holliday started the second with a double. Two K's and a grounder later, he was still there. With two away for the Bucs, Dewey singled and Ronny Cedeno doubled into right. Doumit was thrown out at home, Lance Berkman to Ryan Theriot to Yadier Molina, but it was a good time to take a shot with the pitcher up, even if it didn't work.

Theriot opened the third with a fly into center that dropped and was bunted to second. An out later, Rafael Furcal doubled him home to knot the score. Paul and Josh Harrison singled with an out for Pittsburgh, but Westbrook K'ed McCutch and Ryan Ludwick. It remained 1-1 after three innings.

McDonald again had trouble getting the first out. Holliday doubled and Berkman was plunked to put a pair aboard with nobody away. David Freese helped take the pressure off, bouncing into 4-6-3, and Molina flew out to a galloping McCutch on the track to close out the fourth.

The Bucs started out like gangbusters, too. Neil Walker ended a long slump with a liner to left and Garrett Jones followed with a rope to right. Dewey kept the hot bat going by knocking a hung curve into the third row of the Clemente seats for his sixth long fly of the year to give Pittsburgh a 4-1 lead after four.

St. Louis went down in order in the fifth, and ditto for the Pirates.

 In the sixth, Albert Pujols singled. With two outs, Berkman walked and Freese singled Pujols in to make it 4-2. Jason Grilli came in from the pen, and got Molina to pop out. J-Mac went 5-2/3 innings, giving up two runs on six hits with two walks, a hit batter, and four K's while tossing 92 pitches.

The Bucs answered, thanks to a Cardinal miscue. Walker drew a free pass to get it going, and an out later was chased to third when Dewey rolled one into right. Cedeno then grounded a ball to short, but Furcal misfired on the feed of the DP ball, letting the run score and giving the Bucs a 5-2 edge.

D-Mac took the ball, and got into a little hot water.  A single, DP, single and four-pitch walk was enough to get him the hook. Jose Veras sauntered in from the pen, and froze Pujols on a 3-2 curve to close the door.

Mitchell Boggs took the mound for the Cards. After striking out the first pair of Pirates, a Ludwick walk after being in a 0-2 hole followed by a Walker double to right made the score 6-2.

Veras pitch a clean eighth; the Bucs wasted a lead off single by Dewey, his fourth knock of the night.

Hanny came on, and K'ed the first batter. Theriot grounded to short; Cedeno threw the ball away for a single and error ruling. No prob; Hanrahan got the next pair routinely and the Bucs put Milwaukee in the rear view mirror with a 6-2 win over St. Louis. The only down note - it's his third straight appearance, so he's out for tomorrow.

Now on to the draft watch as the bewitching hour approaches and Scott Boras turns into the undead stalking Neal Huntington. We can hear the howling already.

Chris Carpenter takes on Jeff Karstens tomorrow.

  • Rayn Doumit had the sixth four-hit game of his career. The last was in 2009.
  • The Pirates matched their 2010 win total of 57 tonight with six weeks and 42 games left in the season.
  • Jose Tabata was back at PNC Park today, but is still on the DL. He's here for a medical review, so we guess that if he passes the running/agility drills, he'll be back in the Bucco lineup tomorrow. Sounds to us more like the FO is debating who to option to clear a spot for JT than being overly concerned over Tabata's wheels.
  • 19,766 came out for the game tonight.
  • Jim Callis of Baseball America tweets that the Pirates inked draftee RHP Clay Holmes for $1.2M, not the $900K reported earlier.
  • High school RHP Cody Watts is reported to be close to signing with the Bucs, according to Tim Williams of Pirates Prospects.
  • Jim Thome hit his 600th homer today. Congrats to the big guy, one of the class acts in the league.

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