Bucs shut out Marlins for the sweep

The brooms were out in full force this afternoon as Jeff Karstens led the Pirates to a sweep of the Marlins.  He had a rough first inning, but put up zeroes from there as the Bucs moved to 14 games over .500.

Karstens gave up a single to lead off the game, but picked Jose Reyes off.  He gave up another single, followed by a walk.  After a groundout, he walked another batter, loading the bases.  He somehow escaped the jam by getting a flyout, and cruised from there.  Jeff went seven innings, giving up just three more hits, while striking out three.  If he can keep pitching like this, the Pirates will have a legitimate “big three” of Burnett, McDonald, and Karstens.

Meanwhile, Cutch drove in a run in the first with a base hit, and that would really be all the Pirates needed.  Pedro Alvarez launched his 21st bomb of the year in the seventh to make it 3-0, while Jared Hughes and Joel Hanrahan both pitched 1-2-3 innings to close out the game.  Miami starter Anibal Sanchez pitched pretty well, striking out eight batters, but he just couldn’t get any offensive support.

Of course, the Reds also completed a sweep today, so there’s no change in the division standings.  The Pirates will finish off their homestand with a series against the Cubs, starting tomorrow.

Pirates (54-40) – Marlins (44-51)

Win: Karstens (3-2)
Loss: Sanchez (5-7)
Save: Hanrahan (28)


Go Bucs


Another win against the Fish

A.J. Burnett turned in another excellent start tonight in front of a sold-out PNC Park.  The offense wasn’t great, but they were patient enough to let the Marlins beat themselves, and took advantage of their mistakes.

The Bucs got some early run support for A.J. in the first when Garrett Jones drove in a run on an RBI-groundout.  Miami got it right back, though, as Justin Ruggiano led off the second with an opposite field home run to tie it.  That would be the only run Burnett gave up, as he went on to cruise from there.

In the fourth, Carlos Zambrano hit the first two batters.  A.J. followed with a sac-bunt, which got thrown away to score a run and put runners on the corners.  Alex Presley drew his second walk of the game, and Neil Walker made it 3-1 with a sacrifice fly.  Cutch walked to reload the bases, and Jones also walked, which scored a run.  That knocked Big Z from the game, and he exited without much drama in the dugout afterwards.  The first batter Chad Gaudin faced was Casey McGehee, and HE walked to plate a run.  Eight men had now come to the plate, four runners scored, but the Pirates still didn’t have a hit or an official at-bat in the fourth.  The next two batters went on to strike-out, but the damage was done as the Bucs were up 5-1.

Burnett was pretty locked in, scattering eight hits, while striking out three Marlins.  He started the eighth with just under 100 pitches, but gave up a double to Jose Reyes and a single to Carlos Lee to get knocked from the game.  He walked off the field after going 7.2 very strong innings to a standing ovation from the PNC Park crowd.  Brad Lincoln came in, and finished off the last 1.1 innings to seal the victory and keep the winning streak alive.

Really a fun game to be at.  Fairly calm crowd for a fireworks night, and the game was pretty entertaining.  This team is so much fun to watch.  They’ll go for the sweep tomorrow afternoon.

Pirates (53-40) – Marlins (44-50)

Win: Burnett (11-3)
Loss: Zambrano (5-8)
Save: Lincoln (1)


Go Bucs

Pair of solo shots spur comeback

The Bucs kicked off their homestand with a game against the new-look Marlins in a matchup that featured Kevin Correia and Ricky Nolasco.  It started out bleak, but the Pirates came back to make it a heck of a game.

The second pitch of the game that Correia threw was taken deep by Jose Reyes for a leadoff home run.  Emilio Bonifacio then singled, and stole his away to third.  He scored on an RBI-groundout as Miami went up 2-0 early.

Garrett Jones got a run back with an RBI-single to RF, and Correia started to settle in.  He threw two scoreless innings before Nolasco laid down a sac-bunt with runners on the corners to make it 3-1 in the fourth.  The Bucs came back to tie it in the bottom of the fourth.  Pedro Alvarez smacked his 20th homer, followed by a Rod Barajas book-rule double.  Clint Barmes drove him in to tie it, and Correia kept the game tied after five.  Despite a really shaky start, Correia wasn’t all that bad, and was able to grind out five innings.  He ended up with 94 pitches.

Neil Walker led off the fifth with a solo shot to take the lead and get his average over .300.  Chris Resop pitched a great sixth, but got into some trouble after getting one out in the seventh.  With runners on first and second, Jared Hughes came in.  He got a groundout, and then a flyout to end the inning an escape the jam.

There was a chance to tack on in the seventh when Jordy Mercer led off with a double, but a failed bunt attempt ruined the whole inning.  Jason Grilli pitched a clean eighth, and it was Hammer Time.  Joel Hanrahan gave up a leadoff single, but got John Buck to pop up a bunt attempt for the first out.  Pinch-hitter Austin Kearns singled up the middle to put runners on the corners and turn over the lineup.  Joel got Reyes to whiff for the second out, but the runner on first stole second.  But no worries, the Hammer punched out Bonifacio on three pitches to get the win in front of the sold-out PNC Park crowd.

Pretty intense game.  Let’s hope this winning streak continues.  The Reds also won tonight, so there’s no change in the standings.  BUT…the Pirates still tied with the Braves for the top wildcard spot.

Pirates (52-40) – Marlins (44-49)

Win: Correia (7-6)
Loss: Nolasco (8-8)
Save: Hanrahan (27)


Go Bucs

Series Preview: Pirates vs. Marlins

Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Miami Marlins

July 20, 2012 7:05 pm
July 21, 2012 7:05 pm
July 22, 2012 1:35 pm

PNC Park

Probable Pitchers
Kevin Correia (6-6, 4.25 ERA) vs. Ricky Nolasco (8-7, 4.47 ERA)
A.J. Burnett (10-3, 3.78 ERA) vs. Carlos Zambrano (5-7, 4.22 ERA)
Jeff Karstens (2-2, 4.15 ERA) vs. Anibal Sanchez (2-2, 4.15 ERA)

Series Notes
The Pirates return to Pittsburgh for their first homestand of the second half… The Bucs have a record of 51-40 (2nd place, 0.5 games back)… The Marlins are 44-48 (4th place, 10 games back)… Miami is 20-24 on the road this season; Pittsburgh is 29-14 at home… Kevin Correia is 3-0 with a 5.29 ERA in his last three starts… Ricky Nolasco is 5-3 (2.10 ERA) lifetime vs. the Pirates, and 2-3 (3.82 ERA) at PNC Park… A.J. Burnett faces his former team for just the second time… Carlos Zambrano is 13-8 with a 3.95 ERA in his career vs. Pittsburgh… Jeff Karstens has gone seven-plus innings in three straight starts… Anibal Sanchez took the loss on May 14th vs. the Pirates, as he surrendered three runs on six hits in seven innings… Hitting leaders for both clubs:

Marlins Pirates
AVG Giancarlo Stanton (.284) Andrew McCutchen (.369)
Runs Hanley Ramirez (49) Andrew McCutchen (65)
HR Giancarlo Stanton (19) Andrew McCutchen (22)
RBI Giancarlo Stanton (50) Andrew McCutchen (65)
SB Emilio Bonifacio (22) Andrew McCutchen (14)

Giancarlo Stanton is recovering from knee surgery, and could return by early August… Juan Oviedo, formerly known as Leo Nunez, is on the DL with a right quad strain… Jose Reyes has a seven-game hitting streak… Neil Walker has hit safely in 17 of his last 18 games… Jared Hughes has allowed only one of his 17 inherited runners to score this season… PNC Park promotions this weekend are as follows: FridayFree Shirt Friday; SaturdayFireworks / Scratch ‘n Win; SundayPirates Visor / Kids Day… #PackPNC

Go Bucs

Game Recap: Pirates @ Marlins 5/15/12

The Pirates got a quick lead for Kevin Correia in the first.  Andrew McCutchen drew a two out walk, and Pedro Alvarez singled to left off Marlins starter Josh Johnson.  Garrett Jones followed with an RBI single through the hole to right.  Correia gave up a leadoff walk to Jose Reyes, and Hanley Ramirez doubled him in to erase the early lead.  Correia gave up a triple to Emilio Bonifacio in the second, but worked out of the jam to keep the game tied.

Miami finally broke it open in the fourth, with RBI singles by John Buck and Omar Infante, and another RBI double by Ramirez to make it 6-1 Marlins.  Chris Resop replaced Correia, ending his night after 3 2/3 innings on the mound.  Resop pitched through the sixth, and Michael McKenry made the game a little closer in the seventh with a solo homer.  Tony Watson and Jared Hughes pitched the last two innings, but the Bucs couldn’t get any more run support and lost by a score of 6-2, splitting the two game series in Miami.

Pirates (17-18) – Marlins (19-17)

Win: Johnson (1-3)
Loss: Correia (1-4)


Go Bucs