In what will hopefully be Brad Lincoln‘s last start, the Orioles absolutely crushed the Pirates’ pitching. Jeff Karstens was supposed to make his return tonight, but was forced to stay on his rehab stint after facing a setback in his last start.
The first inning was promising for the first place Bucs when they got a two-out rally going, which was capped off with Matt Hague driving in Andrew McCutchen for the early 1-0 lead. Lincoln pitched a scoreless first, but it was all downhill from there. He hung a curveball to Mark Reynolds in the second, and he took him deep for a two-run homer. In the third, Adam Jones drove in a run on a single, and then put the Orioles up 4-2 with a homer in the fifth.
That was Lincoln’s last batter, and he was yanked in favor of Juan Cruz after just 4.1 innings. Casey McGehee got the Bucs back within a run in the sixth with a solo shot to right, his second of the year. Chris Resop, unfortunately, opened the flood gates when he came out of the bullpen. Steve Pearce reached on an error, and then Resop threw away Endy Chavez‘ bunt attempt to put runners on second and third with no outs. Brian Roberts, making his 2012 debut, drove in a run with a sac-fly, and J.J. Hardy drove in another on an RBI single. Resop then gave up a towering home run to Chris Davis, and Baltimore went up 8-2.
The Pirates showed signs of a comeback in the seventh when Clint Barmes lead off with a single and Alex Presley doubled. Neil Walker drove in Barmes with a groundout off Wei-Yin Chen, and Cutch made it 8-4 with a sacrifice fly. Doug Slaten kept the Orioles off the board in the bottom half, and it looked like the Bucs would have a shot to come back in the last two innings.
Luis Ayala shut Pedro, Jose, and Rod down in order in the eighth, and but the game wasn’t over yet. Presley drew a one-out walk in the ninth, and Walker struck again with a two-run bomb to get the Bucs with two. The Orioles brought out their closer, Jim Johnson, to finish the game. He got Cutch to chase a high fastball, and McGehee, who was having a great day at the plate, to ground out. Game one of the series at Camden Yards went to the O’s.
– Casey McGehee went 2-3 with 2 walks. Tabata and Walker also had 2 hits.
– Pedro looked absolutely terrible at the plate, going 0-4 with 2 punch-outs. He looked like a statue for most of the night, taking pitch after pitch right down the middle.
Hey, it’s one bad game. The pitching was pretty bad, but the 6 runs are promising, especially considering the Bucs battled all the way to the end. Cincinnati won tonight, so the Pirates drop to second place in the Central.
Pirates blogger @rumbunter snapped this picture of Kevin Correia on the bench, clearly disinterested in the shellacking the Bucs took tonight.
Pirates (32-28) – Orioles (35-26)
Win: Chen (6-2)
Loss: Lincoln (3-2)
Save: Johnson (19)