Sunday’s game probably wasn’t in the “absolutely must win” category, but it was definitely one that that Bucs needed to win. Getting swept by one of the worst teams in the league would really set them back, and drop them even further behind the Reds. Erik Bedard got off to a rough start, but man did the offense bail him out in an 11-5 win.
The first batter that Bedard faced was Chris Denorfia, and he took him deep. The Padres had now hit a home run in the first inning of all three games, and twice it came on the first batter of the game. He walked the next batter, and after getting one out, he plunked another. A run scored on an RBI-single, and two more scored when Clint Barmes threw a ball into RF. Bedard was able to get out of the inning, but gave up one more run in the second.
Bedard’s counterpart was former Bucco great Ross “the boss” Ohlendorf. He shut his former team down through two innings, but the Bucs got to him in the third. Bedard sliced a double to left, and Neil Walker singled him in on his way to a 5-5 day at the plate.
In the fourth, the Pirates absolutely mashed. Garrett Jones walked, Gaby Sanchez reached on an error, and Pedro singled. The Fort walked, plating a run. Clint Barmes fell behind 0-2, but worked it back to 2-2. On the fifth pitch of the AB, he pulled a ball down the LF line, and rang it off of the foul pole for his first career grand slam. But wait – the Bucs weren’t done yet. Ohlendorf walked Bedard, and was pulled from the game. After Marte struck out, Walker stroked a base hit. Cutch hit a deep fly ball to the CF wall, and the fielder couldn’t make the catch. Both runners scored, making it 8-5. Jones, batting for the second time in the inning, tripled in Cutch, and McKenry tacked on the ninth run of the inning with a single. What a crazy inning. Fourteen men came up to the plate, and nine scored.
To hear Greg Brown’s radio call of Barmes’ slam, click HERE
With a five-run lead, Bedard came back out for the fifth. He struck out the side, and was done after that. His final line: 5 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 3 ER, 4 BB, 6 K. He got the win, and although he didn’t necessarily deserve it, he has a handful of losses in which he pitched very well. Walker led off the seventh with his fifth hit of the game – a solo home run to RF to make it 11-5. He walked in the eighth, and didn’t get the chance to get six hits.
Chris Resop, Chad Qualls, Juan Cruz (fresh off the DL), and Joel Hanrahan each threw a scoreless inning to close out the win. It’s nice to salvage a game in this series in such explosive fashion, and get some momentum heading into a four-game set with Los Angeles. The Dodgers are no joke, so hopefully this gets the Bucs rolling.
Pirates (64-50) – Padres (51-64)
Win: Bedard (7-12)
Loss: Ohlendorf (4-3)
Bill Brink (@BrinkPG) August 12, 2012