Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Bucs Bolt Out of the Gate and Run Away With 7-0 Victory; Starling & Amore Hurt

Willy put the Sox away with just a single in the first. Reynaldo Lopez didn't have such a hot start; Fraze smacked his second pitch out of the yard. Gregory singled, and before the frame ended, Starling, J-Bell and Colin Moran banged two-baggers, putting the Bucs up 4-0. There was a downer - Marte left the game after scoring with "right side discomfort," so we'll have to wait that out; it could be bad news if a rib or oblique. Chicago went down quietly; with two outs the Pirates added on with a Gregory walk and S-Rod triple, followed by a J-Bell double off the Clemente Wall. All three guys had two strikes before doing their damage. Uno, dos, tre in the third for the Chisox. Cervy got hit on the back forearm, but stayed in the game (to be relieved by Eli between innings; Amore had "right arm discomfort"). Red Beard walked and Chris Beck was waved on to shut it down. The Sox got a flare and a deflection for fourth inning knocks but didn't come around. Beck had a quiet frame.

Willy was back to his old ways (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)

The Chicago Americans started the fifth with back-to-back knocks to plant runners at the corners. A missed bunt K, a swinging whiff and grounder left them there. The Pirates were three up and down. Jose Abreu led led off the sixth with a double; Willy anchored him there. The Bucs added on with two gone when Fraze was bopped by a pitch and Aaron Bummer (yes, the son of Mr. & Mrs. Bummer) came in. Gregory smoked a double in greeting; Fraze's slide home just beat the rap and was upheld after a review. Trevor tossed a four-pitch seventh to end his night. He gave up six hits and whiffed six after spinning 94 pitches; very nice bounce back. Two singles and a walk loaded the sacks for the Bucs with an out, but Bummer K'ed his way out of trouble. Kyle Crick answered the phone for the eighth, and a leadoff knock caused him no problems. Chris Volstad tossed a calm inning against his once-upon-a-time mateys. Richard Rodriguez, and two whiffs and three outs later, it was time to RTJR.

Nice win, but at a price if Starling and Fran (who said after the game he should be fine; he just felt some numbness) are out for a while. The Bucs don't really have a CF option on the roster (S-Rod is Plan B), while Eli has been strong but Clint has been careful not to overexpose him. Jake Stallings has seen time as a backup behind the dish, but we're not so sure the Pirates feel that it's Austin Meadows time yet. So tomorrow's medical report will have an effect on tonight's afterglow one way or another.

Gregory is starting to feel it (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)
Notes:
  • Pittsburgh had 10 hits; Gregory and J-Bell each had a pair, with Josh plating three runners.
  • The Pirates have a league-leading seven shutouts.
  • Colin Moran got his eighth at bat v a lefty - he's 1-for-6 with two walks and one whiff.
  • Not many at the yard tonight - the paid attendance was 11,847.
  • Remember OF Michael Saunders, the former Blue Jays All-Star who the Bucs signed and then released two days later at his request after the Corey Dickerson deal? He signed with KC, didn't make it there, signed a minor-league contract with Baltimore and just asked for (and was granted) his release from them.
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