After Charlie Morton was pounded for four earned runs in yesterday’s Pirate massacre, A.J. Burnett excelled as the Pirates’ starter in today’s game. Burnett went seven full innings, allowing just two hits and walking two while allowing one unearned run, striking out three. Burnett also set down 17 consecutive batters after Drew Stubbs dropped down a sacrifice bunt and reached first on an error by Pedro Alvarez. Grilli, who came in to set up for Hanrahan, was good, striking out two batters in his one relief inning. Joel Hanarahan was able to pitch around a pair of hits in the top of the ninth to clinch the game for the Pirates and record his 13th save of the season.
The bats were silent as usual until the sixth inning, when Neil Walker reached base on a walk and Garrett Jones singled him over to third, when Matt Hague, the “Hit Collector,” doubled in deep right center field to drive in Jones and Walker. Other than that, the Pirates had a misfire in the second inning, when Garrett Jones tripled to left field and Cueto loaded the bases by walking Barajas and Burnett, but Tabata grounded out to second to kill the rally. It’s still incredible that the Pirates only had five hits this game, which means they were batting for a .172 average. If the Pirates seriously want to compete, then they must improve the offense internally.
The Pirates were able to go 6-2 this homestand to better their record to 25-25, which means .500. Hopefully this means sustained success for the Pirates, but who knows with how they are performing?