The Pirates were able to win the series finale and in turn take the series from the Marlins. Your Bucs move to (61-53) on the season, 8 games above .500 tied for a season best. The Pirates are tied for second in the Central with Saint Louis, a game and half back of the Brewers. They remain a half game out of a Wild Card spot. With just 48 games remaining in the season it's going to be a sprint to the finish line.
With another rough starting lineup, wasn't sure what to expect from the Pirates tonight. As they did last night, they rose to the occasion. Putting up a crooked number two nights in a row with what was called by many a "C Team" lineup. Keep in mind it is the Marlins folks. These lineups aren't going to cut it against El Tigres.
Having never lost to the Marlins, Volquez may have entered tonight with high expectations. He surely met them with the outing he had in front of a packed house at PNC. Edinson Volquez was sensational on the mound tonight in his 22nd start of the season. This would end up his longest start since his outing against the Cardinals on July 10th. He faced the minimum through 3 innings and had a no hitter through 5 tonight. Volquez leaned heavily on first pitch strikes and fastball command, keeping the Marlins bats at bey. He went 7 IP, giving up just 1 hit and no runs, while walking just 3 and striking out 7. He moves to (9-7) on the year and has reduced his ERA to 3.70 after tonight's start. Going into this series who would have thought you'd get back to back 7 inning outings from Locke and Volquez. Both of which proved to be vital to the Pirates taking this series.
The depleted lineup had no trouble with Marlins starter Brian Flynn in his first start of the year. The Pirates got on the board in the 4th when Jordy Mercer got on base with his second hit of the night. Russell Martin then drove him in with another single, making it 1-0 Bucs. Miami starter Brian Flynn then walked the next two batters to load the bases for Polanco. El Coffee stepped up, driving in 2 runs, Marte and Martin both scored on the base-hit to make it 3-0 in favor of the Pirates.
Volquez got into some trouble in the 5th after walking Salty and giving up a single to Solano. Then, Hechavarria hit a fly ball in foul territory down the right field line. Polanco made the catch and doubled up Salty at third base as he was trying to tag up on the play. An absolute hose from Polanco.
In the bottom half of the 5th, JHay kept his hit streak alive, extending it to 11 games now. Mercer then dove him in with an RBI single, making him 3-3 on the night at that point. Gaby Sanchez, a man playing possessed the last two games drove Mercer in to make it 5-0 Pirates.
Frightening moment in the 7th as Jordy Mercer hit a line drive off the head of Marlins pitcher Dan Jennings. Jennings was evaluated and eventually carted off the field, he gave a wave as he went off, always a good sign. All the best to Jennings, surely hope he is alright.
Justin Wilson came on to pitch the 8th as fans looked on with fingers crossed after his outing the other night. He threw a scoreless inning, exactly what he needed. Then in the bottom half of 8th the Pirates capped off the night adding to more runs to make it 7-0. Polanco's single to left plated two. The Pirates put the nail in the coffin with that one.
Stolmy Pimentel threw the 9th in his usual no leverage spot with the Pirate lead at seven runs. He gave up a 2-run bomb to Stanton who was due, luckily the Pirates didn't allow a home run from him up to that point. He was able to get three outs with no more damage and raise it for the Bucs.
Your BUCCO OF THE GAME tonight is Gregory Polanco! He was 2-4 in the game, with 4 Rbis. Need games like that from El Coffee with the MVP still on the shelf.
San Diego comes to town tomorrow. First pitch at 7:05. It'll be Vance Worley (4-1, 2.43) on the hill for the Bucs against Ian Kennedy (8-9, 3.59) a guy I thought the Pirates should have made a move for at the deadline. Look for the same from the Bucs in this series, quality pitching and a crapshoot with the makeshift lineups.