The Pirates fell in game two of the series to the Padres. A tough loss for the Bucs in a game they should have won. Looking to sweep the series, the Pirates will now have to win the finale to take the series from the Pads. Following the loss the Bucs move to 62-54 on the year. They sit in 2nd place in the NL Central, a game and a half back of the Brewers. The Pirates are a game up on the Cardinals as they have struggled in their series against the O's. Fortunately, the Pirates are still atop the NL Wild Card standings, even with the loss tonight.
After scoring a run in the first, the Pirate bats weren't able to get to Eric Stults who settled in comfortably after the Bucs first at bat. Stults was solid, he went 6.1 IP, giving up 7 hits and one run of which was earned. He did not walk a batter and struck out 6. That would be the only run the Pirates would get in the game.
Francisco Liriano had a strong outing for the Bucs. Good enough to get a win, the Pirate bats just weren't able to help him out. He went 7 IP, giving up just 3 hits while surrendering only 2 runs, both earned. He walked just one and struck out 4 on his way to a loss. Liriano moves to 3-8 on the year. At one point Frankie had retired 15 straight before walking Grandal in the 7th.
The game got off to a strange start. Gaby Sanchez went well out of his way to field a ground ball that would have been right to Martinez at second base. His throw to Liriano covering went wide allowing Cabrera to reach safely. He then stole second. Solarte then singled but Cabrera was held at third (I'm still not sure why). Eventually, he would score on a Gyorko single to make 1-0 San Diego. Nelson then hit into a fielder's choice as Nix was able to get Solarte out at home. Grandal then flew out with bases loaded, Polanco's throw into second got Nelson who was caught in between first and second, TOOTBLAN for him. Bases loaded and none out only led to two runs the Pads, it could have been a lot worse.
If you didn't turn on the Steelers first game of the year at this point, then you saw the Pirates answer. Going into the game the Pirates had won 19 straight after scoring in the first inning. JHay extended his hit streak to 13 games with a leadoff single. He then swiped second easily (oven mitt and all). RussMart came through with his 44th RBI of the year driving in JHay with a single. The Pirates were only able to get one run, Padres still led 2-1 following the first. That would be all the action you'd see at the plate for both teams the rest of the night.
Hughes came on to pitch the 8th inning. He got into some trouble. The bases were loaded after he hit Medica in the face with a curveball that didn't curve. He was able to workout of it, striking out Gyorko to end the inning.
Mercer led off the 8th with a single. Martin then hit one off the Clemente wall. Mercer moved to third on the Martin double. It felt as if the Pirates were at least going to tie the game here. Two on nobody out as Ike Davis came to the plate. The bases weren't loaded so unfortunately he lined out. Marte then struck out which was followed by a Polanco fly out to right. A crucial missed opportunity for the Bucs. Just bad. A preview of what may happen to them in the Tigers series if they can't get guys in.
Justin Wilson came in for the 9th. He looked good and was able to work a scoreless inning.
The Pirates went down in order in the bottom half. Dropping game two of the series.
Russell Martin is your BUCCO OF THE GAME tonight! As voted by you tweeters. He was 2-4 at the plate, driving in the Pirates lone run. RussMart is just second in MLB in OBP following tonight's game. RESIGN RUSS!
Harrison, Martin, Marte and Nix all had multi-hit nights for the Bucs. Martin had the lone RBI.
Alvarez got a chance to pinch-hit tonight, he's still around. He wasn't able to come through. Neil Walker was in the on-deck circle before the Bucs went down in the 7th, so he must be feeling better.
Cutch continues to move around a bit. Messing around in BP and in the dugout during the game. Still waiting to see whether he will visit the DL or return shortly. Would be nice to have him with the Tigers coming to town.