Sunday, April 15, 2018

Marte Partay Breaks Out As Bucs Take Marlin Series With 7-3 Win

Baseball's a funny game; Gregory's bullet to right was an out while Starling's putt to short ended up a hit. It still ended up a zero for Jose Urena. The JB Shuck saga continued as he worked seven pitches from Ivan Nova before legging out an infield knock followed by a ground ball single. It continued; Starlin Castro rolled over on a curve almost in the dirt and bled a single to third - no contact worth speaking of by the Fish, yet the bases are jammed with no outs. Ivan almost got out of it; a 1-5-3 grounder to the box that kicked off Nova's foot brought in a run, bracketed by whiffs. The Bucs got two on with two outs in the second, but Ivan's three-pitch whiff ended it. Dovydas Neverauskas is loosening, so we'll see if that ricochet off Nova's foot causes any damage as the game goes on. It didn't seem to bother him as he got another grounder sandwiched between two more K's.

Ivan was solid today (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)

After a 2017 filled with beanery, J-Hay opened the third with his first HBP of the campaign. It hurt; he took it in the left hand/wrist area (he broke his left hand in September, you'll recall) and had to leave the game, with Fraze his sub. Marte singled an out later. They both scored when Urena left a slider up to J-Bell, who pulled it down the line for a two-bagger. A passed ball moved him along and Corey-D's rap brought him home. Cervy singled for the fourth straight hit before the frame wound down. Ivan's first pitch plunked the first Fish batter (it was Shuck; can't keep him off the bases) which drew a warning now that both sides are even. The remainder of the inning was quiet, as was the fourth. Marte opened the fifth with his third hit. Corey D moved him to third with his second knock, a hit-and-run, and Cervy's sac fly plated him. Miami got their first hit since the opening frame, but it caused no undue ado. Odrisamer Despaigne took the ball in the sixth; he and Ivan tossed clean innings.

Gregory and Starling opened the seventh with knocks; a J-Bell bloop chased home a run and Corey-D's sac fly plated another (it wasn't very deep, but Supersonic Starling...the safe call was challenged and upheld). Cervy got plunked in the back of the hand, like J-Hay, but he stayed in. Despaigne stayed in too; the ump sniffed out no evil intent and the frame shut down quietly afterward. Nova was greeted by a double up the third base line, then struck out the next pair. But he hung a 1-2 curve and Justin Bour made it 6-3 in a hurry. Michael Feliz came in and Shuck reached again, this time thanks to a Fraze boot, but a K closed it out. For Ivan, a solid outing marred by the last pitch - he went 6-2/3 IP with three runs on six hits and nine K while tossing 106 pitches. Tayron Guerreo hit the hill in the eighth and 1-2-3'ed the Bucs. George Kontos answered the bell and put up a zero. Junichi Tawaza's second pitch in the ninth was a center-cut heater and Starling shipped it over the wall. The rest of the frame went quietly thanks to a DP and in came Felipe Vazquez; Clint won't rest until his back-end's arms fall off. But Felipe did his part; it took 12 pitches to turn out the lights.

But Starling was the man (photo Dave Arrigo/Pirates)

Good win; the Bucs keep on taking series, essential stuff when you're facing teams you should beat. The trainer's room will be interesting tomorrow, when we find out how badly J-Hay is hurt, if Cervy has more than a bruise and how Ivan's dog is, tho he soldiered through today well enough. We hope the Bucs enjoyed sunny Florida; their three-day homestand against the Rox is forecast to be more dreary weather. 

Notes:
  • Starling collected five hits today; the last Bucco with a five-hit game was Gregory here in Miami on 6/13/14. It was Marte's first career five-hit day; he had collected four hits 11 times. J-Bell had three knocks and Corey D rang up two more raps. Starling scored four times; Bell and Dickerson combined for five RBI.
  • Lots of whiffs today - the Fish fanned 13 times, the Pirates, 11.
  • The roof was down at Marlins Park today with rain in the Miami forecast.
  • Newly acquired Enny Romero is supposed to join the club in Pittsburgh tomorrow.
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