Final: Pirates 5, Diamondbacks 4
This one looked like it would be a disaster. Jeff Karstens pitched just one inning due to inflammation in his shoulder. More on that here [link]. The Pirates were down 3-1 early, a seemingly insurmountable lead based on the team’s recent offensive struggles. But some strong bullpen pitching and some strung together hits put the Bucs on top.
The scoring started in the 1st inning when Garrett Jones his an RBI single [video] to score Andrew McCutchen. In the 3rd inning, Neil Walker would hit an RBI single [video] to score McCutchen. Garrett Jones then doubled [video] in Walker to tie the game at four. Jones added a solo homer [video] in the 6th to give the Pirates a 4-3 lead.
Jason Grilli squandered that lead in the 8th when he gave up a solo homer to John McDonald. But with two outs in the top of the 9th, Alex Presley beat out an infield single. Casey McGehee then hit a pinch hit single to move Presley to third. McCutchen then delivered with his 4th hit of the game to plate Presley [video].
Juan Cruz shut the door with a 1-2-3 9th to improve the Pirates record to 4-7.
The Pirates 3-4-5 hitters were a combined 10 for 14. When that happens, good things tend to happen. McCutchen was 4 for 5 and raised his season average to .381. Walker was 3 for 5 and Jones was 3 for 4 with his 2nd homer of the season.
Joel Hanrahan did not pitch the 9th inning because he tweaked his hamstring and was unavailable. Cruz filled in nicely, though. Hopefully Hanrahan’s injury isn’t serious and he can get back on the mound ASAP.
Pedro Alvarez was 0 for 4. However, he actually looked pretty good tonight. He hit a ball that Chris Young made an outstanding running grab on that would have been out of most parks and he did not strike out. Baby steps.
Evan Meek pitched a 1-2-3 7th inning and seemed to be throwing the ball a little better than before. His fastball was sitting at 94 mph consistently. That is a lot better than the 91 we have been seeing.