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Pirates lose to Astros in 11 innings

Final: Astros 4, Pirates 2 (box)

WP: Jose Cisnero (1-0, 4.00 ERA)
LP: Bryan Morris (1-2, 3.68 ERA)
SV: Jose Veras (6, 3.71 ERA)

50x50_t470A.J. Burnett pitched stellar, as usual, giving up just one run over seven innings. He did walk four batters and give up five hits, but was helped out by seven strikeouts and two double plays. Burnett has a 2.57 ERA this season in ten starts and somehow the Pirates have managed to win just four of those ten. They are averaging 2.6 runs scored per Burnett start.

50x50_t470The Pirates jumped out to a 1-0 lead on back-to-back doubles in the first inning by Andrew McCutchen and Gaby Sanchez. McCutchen would hit a second double in the sixth for his third straight multi-hit game.

50x50_t470Mark Melancon gave up just his second run of the season in the eighth inning after giving up three singles. It is the first time this season he’s blown a lead.

50x50_t470The Pirates were simply unable to get to an Astros staff with pitchers who entered the game with ERA’s of 6.67, 7.43, 2.95, 5.02, and 3.94. Former Pirate Erik Bedard went more than five innings for the first time this year and it was just his second start in which he didn’t allow a home run.

50x50_t470The Astros scored the go-ahead run in the 11th inning on a play at the plate. Home plate umpire C.B. Bucknor ruled Jason Castro safe on a fielder’s choice to Neil Walker. Clint Hurdle was ejected following the play. Castro was clearly safe.

50x50_t470Jeff Locke (3-1. 3.15 ERA) faces Lucas Harrell (3-4, 5.11 ERA) in the rubber match tomorrow afternoon at 1:35 ET.

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Pirates beat Astros on most Astros play ever

Final: Pirates 5, Astros 4 (box)

WP: Justin Wilson (4-0, 1.40 ERA)
LP: Edgar Gonzalez (0-1, 7.43 ERA)

50x50_t470Jeanmar Gomez had his worst start after being pretty solid in his first three. He pitched 4 2/3 innings and gave up four runs, three of which were earned. He struck out just one and gave up five hits and two walks.

50x50_t470One person I was sad to see the organization and am glad to see in the majors is Robbie Grossman. The Bucs traded Grossman last season in the Wandy Rodriguez deal and he has been Houston’s starting center fielder this year. Today, Grossman did what we know he does best: get on base. He went 1 for 4 with a double and a walk, scoring two of the Astros four runs.

50x50_t470Andrew McCutchen is heating up, ladies and gentlemen. That’s bad news for the rest of the league. McCutchen went 3 for 5 with a double and a home run in his second straight multi-hit game. His OPS has risen .093 points this month.

50x50_t470Pedro Alvarez hit an absolute mammoth of a home run to tie the game up in the eighth inning off reliever Hector Ambriz. I mean, he just killed it.

50x50_t470The Pirates bullpen was big, once again, as Vin Mazzaro, Tony Watson, and Justin Wilson combined for 4 1/3 scoreless innings to keep the game within reach until…

50x50_t470In the bottom of the ninth inning, in what can only be described as the most Astros thing you will ever see, the Pirates walked it off with this:

I’m going to miss playing those guys 20 times a year.

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Travis Snider helps power Bucs to 7-1 win over Brewers

Final: Pirates 7, Brewers 1 (box)

WP: Francisco Liriano (2-0, 1.64 ERA)
LP: Hiram Burgos (1-2, 6.58 ERA)

50x50_t470Francisco Liriano, in his second start as a Pirates did pretty much the same as he did in his first start. He went 5 2/3 innings while giving up one run on six hits. He struck out seven and walked three. His only run given up was in a shaky first inning, but from then on it was pretty much smooth sailing.

50x50_t470Travis Snider had perhaps his best game as a Pirate, going 3 for 5 with a two-run monster of a home run that travelled 458 feet before finding its way into the Allegheny River. He added a single in the third inning and an RBI single in the sixth. His batting line now stands at a solid .292/.364/.406.

50x50_t470The bullpen continued to be impressive as Justin Wilson, Bryan Morris, and Jose Contreras combined for 3 1/3 scoreless innings in which they didn’t give up a hit.

50x50_t470Clint Barmes went 1 for 3 with a double in the fourth inning that drove in the club’s first run. He now has a seven game hitting streak, his longest as a Pirate.

50x50_t470Starling Marte, Andrew McCutchen, Garrett Jones, and Russell Martin each picked up two hits.

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Wandy Rodriguez, Neil Walker lead Pirates to 3-1 win

Final: Pirates 3, Brewers 1 (box)

WP: Wandy Rodriguez (4-2, 3.25 ERA)
LP: Yovani Gallardo (3-3, 4.50 ERA)
SV: Jason Grilli (16, 1.02 ERA)

50x50_t470Wandy Rodriguez pitched seven innings and gave up just one run on six hits. He also struck out five and walked one. The Brewers’ only run came on a solo home run by Rickie Weeks in the seventh inning. He danced out of some trouble in the fourth inning when Jonathan Lucroy led off the inning with a triple. Rodriguez was then able to induce two pop ups and a grounder to leave Lucroy at third.

50x50_t470Starling Marte led off the bottom of the sixth with a double to right center. After Gallardo walked Andrew McCutchen and Gaby Sanchez, Neil Walker delivered with a line drive single to center field to plate two runs to break the 0-0 tie. The Bucs would add another run in the eighth when McCutchen scored on an error by Weeks.

50x50_t470Mark Melancon and Jason Grilli each pitched 1-2-3 innings to seal the deal for the Pirates. Grilli is now 16 for 16 in save opportunities and moves into a tie with Mariano Rivera for most saves in the majors.

50x50_t470McCutchen stole his eighth and ninth bases of the season. He has been caught stealing just once in ten attempts this year compared to 12 caught stealings in 32 attempts last year.

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A.J. Burnett nearly perfect in 5-0 win over Cardinals

Final: Pirates 5, Cardinals 0 (box)

WP: A.J. Burnett (1-2, 2.63 ERA)
LP: Shelby Miller (2-1, 1.96 ERA)

50x50_t470A.J. Burnett was perfect through 5 1/3 innings and carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning. His only two blemishes were a hit by pitch and a double to Carlos Beltran. He also struck out eight batters in his seven innings. His second strikeout was the 2,000th of his career.

50x50_t470The Pirates rushed out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning on an RBI single by Travis Snider that scored Starling Marte, who reached on a leadoff triple. Marte is now hitting .615/.643/.923 when leading off games this year. Unreal.

50x50_t470The Pirates added a run in the sixth on an RBI single by Neil Walker and added another in the seventh when Russell Martin scored on a throwing error by 3B David Freese on a Starling Marte ground ball. The Bucs would then add on some more insurance in the eight inning when Gaby Sanchez doubled in Andrew McCutchen. Sanchez would then score on a Pedro Alvarez single.

50x50_t470Overall, it was a very good game to watch. Burnett was unstoppable. The offense was stagnant through the middle innings, but came up with some timely hitting late in the game to close out the game. The bullpen pitched two perfect frames.

50x50_t470It’s really early to look at standings, but 14 games in, the Pirates are 7-7 and just one game back of the first place Cardinals.

50x50_t470The Pirates start a four game series tomorrow against the Braves. Jeff Locke will get the start against the organization that drafted him. After facing Miller tonight, the Pirates will face another highly regarded young arm in Julio Teheran.

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Game 3: Pittsburgh Pirates vs Chicago Cubs

Published on April 4, 2013 by in Game Thread

Chicago Cubs (1-1, T-1st in NL Central) @ Pittsburgh Pirates (1-1, T-1st in NL Central)

Game Time: 12:35 ET (Tickets)

Probable Starters:
CHC – Travis Wood (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
PIT – James McDonald (0-0, 0.00 ERA)

50x50_t470James McDonald makes his first start after posting a 4.19 ERA in five spring training starts. Last season against the Cubs, McDonald was 0-2 with a 7.04 ERA in three starts. McDonald has yet to rack up a “win” vs the Cubs in six career starts.

50x50_t470Travis Wood fared a bit better when facing the Pirates. In three starts against the Bucs last season, he was 1-2 with a 2.70 ERA. Current Pirates hitters have a career .191 batting average against Wood.

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