Marte’s impressive debut

Wow.  What a game.  Starling Marte starting his MLB career with a bang, and A.J. Burnett cruising his way to another win in Houston.

Marte started in LF and batted leadoff for the Bucs.  In his first at-bat, he launched the first pitch of his career – a fastball up and in – for a home run.  He became the 28th player in MLB history to hit a home run on the first pitch they saw, and only the second to do so on the first pitch of the game.  The excitement quickly shifted from Marte to Garrett Jones, who took Dallas Keuchel deep three batters later for a two-run homer.  Clint Barmes tucked a two-run home run over the Crawford Boxes in the second, and the Bucs were up 5-0 after an inning and a half.  Marte added a single later in the game, and finished 2-4.

A.J. absolutely cruised through the weak Astros lineup.  Through seven innings, he gave up just two hits – both singles – and struck out five.  As he closed in on 100 pitches in the eighth, he gave up two solo home runs, and was pulled for Brad Lincoln after 7.1 solid innings.  Lincoln finished the inning, and Joel Hanrahan came in for the ninth.  His control problems continued, as he allowed a one-out walk on four pitches.  After throwing a wild pitch, he got the second out.  An RBI-single by Chris Johnson made it 5-3, but Hammer struck out the last batter to earn his league-leading 30th save.

Pretty exciting game.  Granted, the Astros are pretty bad, but the Bucs need to win these games against losing teams.  The Pirates are now 15-3 in games that Burnett starts.

Pirates (56-42) – Astros (34-66)

Win: Burnett (12-3)
Loss: Keuchel (1-3)
Save: Hanrahan (30)

BOX SCORE

Go Bucs

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