After winning four straight games, the Pirates were absolutely devastated tonight by the Orioles’ offense. With the Cincinnati Reds winning, the Pirates drop to a game out of first place.
Brad Lincoln defined “bad” tonight, allowing four earned runs on nine hits in four and one third innings. Three of the runs scored off of Lincoln were by way of two home runs. Juan Cruz was able to limit the damage in the fifth inning, completing the remaining two outs without allowing a run, despite walking one. Chris Resop allowed the final nail in the Pirates’ coffin, a two-run home run, in the sixth inning after allowing two other runs, one of which was unearned. Doug Slaten kept the Orioles to eight runs, pitching the seventh and the eighth innings, while allowing just four baserunners, three of whom reached on hits while the other was walked.
The fielding behind the pitching was questionable, committing two errors, both in the sixth inning. Clint Barmes made a decent play, but made a horrendous throw to first, which allowed former Pirate Steve Pearce to reach base. The very next play, Endy Chavez bunted the ball back to Chris Resop, who fired the ball wide of first baseman Casey McGehee, allowing Chavez to reach second base and Pearce to advance to third base. Both players (though Ryan Flaherty pinch ran for Endy Chavez) later scored.
On a night where the pitching cooled down, the offense heated up. The Pirates collected ten hits, for a batting average of .278, as well as walking three times for the second time in three games, after walking six times against the Kansas City Royals on June 9th. Casey McGehee hit his second home run of the season in the sixth inning as part of his two for three night, which also included walking twice. Neil Walker, who also notched his 11th double, hit his fourth homer of the year in the ninth inning, which lessened the deficit the Pirates faced to just two, driving in Alex Presley, who also walked. Andrew McCutchen and Jose Tabata stole their 12th and seventh bases of the season, respectively.
The Pirates take on the Orioles in the second game of the series tomorrow. Kevin Correia will take on Brian Matsuz at 7:05 PM.