Good start for Charlie; ten pitches, three outs. The Bucs went down quietly to Trevor Bauer . The Tribe drew first blood; old Pirate Brandon Moss took Morton deep the opposite way after a David Murphy single, and the Bucs were in a quick 2-0 hole. Chuck added a two-out walk and is quickly at 45 pitches.The Pittsburgh bats remained at bay. One more walk and the Indians went down in a tidier, 13 pitch third inning while Bauer was yet to be dented.
Charlie opened the fourth by plunking Moss with an 0-2 curve, followed by a Yan Gomes knock. Gomes apparently doesn’t know much about Starling Marte; he was cut down trying to stretch it. Morton followed that nice play by issuing his third walk. Michael Bourn yanked a two strike sinker to right for a double; one run scored and Indians were sitting at second and third. To his credit, he left them there with a pair of grounders. The Bucs answered. With an out, The Kid (who else) got the first Pittsburgh hit, followed quickly by Cutch losing a ball over the wall in center to make it a 3-2 affair.
|Cutch was the offense tonight (photo Dennis Poroy/Getty Images)|
The fifth was 1-2-3 for Charlie, using just eight pitches. Good Charlie, bad Charlie all in one game. Ditto for the off-and-on Bucco batters, who also went down in order. Morton continued his recent mojo run, whiffing a pair in the sixth. Chuck left after 104 pitches, but hung tough enough to keep the Bucs in the game on a day his command wasn’t there. Josh singled with an out, but The Kid proved he was human, grounding to first and into a DP after a review of a close call at first was upheld.
Antonio Bastardo took the ball in the seventh. After an out, he walked the pitcher, burning nine pitches. Eight tosses later, he walked Jason Kipnis, even with Fran stealing a strike call for him. Ray Searage had a little chat with AB, and he responded by whiffing Francisco Lindor. A fly out kept the game at one run. Cutch led off with a walk as the weather worsened during another rainy Pittsburgh night; there was a delay during the stretch as the grounds crew worked OT to fill in the puddles. No use; after a Marte force, the tarps came out. There’s a big dark green blob on the radar map; looks bad for the Buccos.
Even though it was still a little drizzly, the tarp was rolled back up around 10:30 as a break in the storm approached, with an 11:15 estimate to play ball again. Close enough; lefty Mark Rzepczynski (I think; my spell check and I are glad he’s in the AL now) came on to face Pedro, who whiffed. So much for Mark; righty Zach McAllister took the ball to face Fran, who drew a walk after a feisty at bat. McAllister came back to K El Coffee in a matchup that worked in reverse for the Tribe; Zach’s hi-90′s heat overpowered Polanco.
Arquimedes Caminero climbed the slippery hill for the eighth. A leadoff walk and a one-out single put him in a jam, and another single loaded them; both singles were bullets to Marte, who kept the runners to one base. Michael Bourne then drilled a single to center, plating a pair. The Indians look like a very good fastball hitting club this inning; every hi-90s ball has been smacked right on the nose. Jared Hughes came in to try to stop the bleeding. JHK went to third, Josh to right and Gregory joined Arqie on the bench. After a punchout, he walked the bases full, but escaped with a tapper back to the box. Bryan Shaw got the call. Jordy lined out, then JHK and Josh both went down swinging.
Jared opened the ninth by giving up a nine pitch walk, the Bucs eighth of the game. He made up by coaxing a 3-6-3 DP, followed by a Pedro error that caused no further damage. Cody Allen came in for the save. After a whiff, he walked Cutch, then got two more quiet outs to tuck the Bucs away for the night.
Both clubs came in on offensive rolls; the Indians beat went on while the Pirates fell asleep at the wheel with just three hits. The middle arms in the bullpen are getting kinda worrisome lately. They’re 15th in the majors in IP and 20th in appearances made, so there’s no excuse for them to be burned out, but that’s how they’re pitching lately. Tomorrow is another day as Jeff Locke takes on Cody Anderson in a Fourth of July afternoon contest.
- Cutch has a ten-game hitting streak;The Kid has a seven gamer. Starling and Jordy had eight game strings snapped.
- Cutch’s next homer will move him into ninth place all-time for the Pirates, ahead of Billy Maz. Maz took 17 years to hit his 138 bombs as opposed to Andrew’s 6-1/2 campaigns.
- Fran Cervelli wore a batting glove for the first time in his pro career against Detroit; he bruised his hand catching and needed something to take some of the sting out per David Manel of Bucs Dugout.
- The Pirates had a seven game winning streak against AL opponents snapped. They also blew the chance to pick up a game on the Cards, who lost their fourth in row.
- In a nice touch, the Pirate dads who took the trip to Detroit to watch their sons played tossed out today’s first pitch to their kids. (Short clip of the tosses on the Pirate’s Vine)
- Rain may have been forecast, but just another summer night in the ‘Burg – tonight’s attendance of 38,840 was the seventh sellout of the season, with help from Cleveland.
- Brandon Moss’ homer was his 14th of the campaign; he’s hit 81 long balls since 2012 with a .251 BA and a plus OPS every season during that span.
- Travis Bauer had some big fun batting. When he drew his walk, he imitated the batting stances of three of his teammates, Mike Aviles, Ryan Raburn and Jason Kipnis, much to the enjoyment of the Tribe dugout.
- Mike Axisa of CBS Sports says the Feds have recommended charges against at least one Cardinal staffer in MLB’s welcome to the data-driven era.
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