The Pirates lost four games in a row in Baltimore and Cleveland and casual fans dropped off the bandwagon. After winning the final two games to take the series in the mistake by the lake, the Bucs won the first game of a series against the Minnesota Twins to nearly reverse the damage.
In Cleveland, the Pirates plated nine runs in their final two games after being shut out in the premiere. The hot streak continued tonight as seven runs crossed home plate in the Pirates’ victory. Josh Harrison opened up the scoring in the first inning, hitting a “home run” off of left fielder Josh Willingham and the State Farm sign. His home run tonight was only a fraction of his three-for-five night which also included two more runs scored and two stolen bases.
Andrew McCutchen also swung a hot bat tonight, hitting a two-run home run in the seventh inning, his 12th of the season, and hitting his 12th double in the eighth; McCutchen also singled, raising his batting average to .332, and walked, raising his on base average to .390. He stole a base as well. Clint Barmes raised his average to above the Mendoza line by singling twice and once doubling in four at bats. Pedro Alvarez hit twice in three at bats tonight, including a double.
On the opposite side of the spectrum, Jose Tabata was 0-for-5 today, which included grounding out thrice.
Kevin Correia pitched well tonight, believe it or not. Going five and a third, Correia didn’t allow a run on four hits and a walk. Tony Watson finished the sixth inning for the Bucs, but Juan Cruz allowed a pair of runs in the seventh frame. Chris Resop, who has been this year’s Jose Veras, finished out the game for the Buccos, shutting out the Twins in the eighth and ninth innings on two walks and a walk.