Five run fourth inning puts Bucs one game back

Final: Pirates 5, Royals 3

WP: Jared Hughes (2-0, 1.78 ERA)

LP: Vin Mazzaro (2-1, 3.60 ERA)

SV: Joel Hanrahan (17, 2.63 ERA)

James McDonald had arguably his worst outing of the year, but five scoreless innings from the Bucco bullpen and a very weird bottom of the fourth inning were enough for the team’s 11th win in 14 games.

McDonald labored through four innings giving up three runs and five hits, but a five-run bottom of the fourth erased the Royals lead for good.

The Pirates only had three hits in the inning, but were able to take advantage of Royals miscues, two walks, and a HBP. Out of the five runs that scored, only one of which was on a play outside of the infield. And even that play was ruled a fielder’s choice by the official scorer. Try figuring that one out if you didn’t see the game.

Joel Hanrahan picked up his 17th save of the season with a 1-2-3 9th inning. He’s converted saves on back-to-back days after blowing his 2nd of the season on Thursday in Cincinnati. One would have to assume he won’t be available to close, if needed, on Sunday due to pitching three straight games.

Pedro Alvarez was 0 for 2, but drew two walks. One of which, led off the key five run rally in the fourth. His walk rate has climbed up to 8.5% recently, which is heading in the right direction. I’m sensing another breakout period for Pedro soon, his .252 BABIP still has a ways to go before reaching his career norms.

Casey McGehee was 1 for 1 with a double and now has a 1.079 OPS in 15 June at-bats. It’s a crazy small sample size, but if he could get going, it would be really nice.

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