Snakes Pound Bucs Bullpen

The Diamondbacks scored seven times in their final two times up to pull away 11-4. With the game knotted at four, Evan Meek couldn’t hold back Arizona. Miguel Montero broke the tie with an RBI double and Chad Tracy cracked a pinch hit three run homer later in the inning – capping a five run 7th – off of John Grabow. Donnie Veal gave up a two run homer to Justin Upton in the 8th for the final scores of the game.

The Pirates did a lot against Dan Haren. They got to him for four runs in the fifth and he wouldn’t be out for the sixth. Garrett Jones had a two run double and Ryan Doumit followed with a two run homer.

That outburst put the Pirates up 4-1, but starter Charlie Morton couldn’t hold the lead. A run scoring triple from Stephen Drew was followed by a game tying homer from Gerardo Parra. Morton was pulled for Jeff Karstens after two more batters. Karstens retired four hitters without a run and he gave way to Meek to start the seventh.

The Pirates had no more hits once Haren was out of the game. Juan Gutierrez picked up the win in relief.

The Good

Getting to Dan Haren.

Jones had three hits and two RBI. Swing for the fences, Garrett!

Steve Pearce had two hits and a double in his first action since the Adam LaRoche trade.

The Bad

The bullpen. Ugh.

The Rest

Karstens has thrown 10 stright hitless innings over four appearances.

The homer was Tracy’s fourth career as a pinch hitter and second of the month.

This was Haren’s worst outing of the year. He had previously gone at least six in every start. He allowed four earned runs or more just once and that was in a seven inning outing in which he allowed five.

Jones has nine homers, but just 13 RBI. Record for fewest RBI in a season with at least 10 HR is former Pirate Dave Ross’ 2003 season (with LA) in which he had 10 HR and just 18 knocked in.

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Jones Does it Again (Twice)

Garrett Jones stroked two solo homers – one in the first and one in the 14th to end it. His blast in the 14th bounced into the river. Those were the only runs the Pirates scored, but it was good enough.

Paul Maholm and Tim Lincecum locked horns. Lincecum gave up the first homer, but otherwise was stingy, whiffing 10 and allowing just four other hits and no walks in seven innings. Maholm went 8 and gave up four hits and no walks while striking out seven.

Maholm’s lone run was unearned. It in the 7th with runners on the corners. Maholm’s pitched bounced away from Ryan Doumit, who quickly gathered it. With Pablo Sandoval trying to take second and two outs, Doumit fired to Freddy Sanchez in time. But the ball bounced off Sanchez’ glove. With the speedy Randy Winn moving early on the throw, he scored the tying run easily. That all set up Jones’ heroics.

His second homer came off of Bobby Howry and made a winner of Evan Meek who had pitched a scoreless inning.

The Good

A win

Jones – swing from your heels!

The Bad

The offense. Guh.

Brandon Moss was easily gunned down at home in the 7th on a single from Jack Wilson

Joel Hanrahan was allowed to pitch when the game was close and put two on with one gone in the 13th. He was pulled for Jesse Chavez who put out the fire.

The Rest

The win was Meek’s first career victory. He has given up just one run in his last nine innings over nine appearances. He joins Ross Ohlendorf, Virgil Vasquez, Steven Jackson and Charlie Morton in picking up their first career win as a Buc in 2009.

This was the first two homer game in Jones’ career. He has now homered in four straight games.

Lincecum’s only other career appearance came in his rookie year on 8-11-07. He was beaten by Tony Armas Jr. of all people.

This was the first time Maholm didn’t walk a batter all year. He had five such starts last year.

Bucs Fall in 15

The pitcher scheduled to start Wednesday’s game – Jeff Karstens – was forced into duty as the Pirates and Braves went long. Karstens ended it quickly by just one of the five hitters he faced. The winning run scored on a bases loaded grounder from former Bucco David Ross.

Atlanta’s bullpen blew a three run lead in the seventh, but then remained unscored upon for nearly nine straight innings. Rookie Kris Medlan tossed the final two innings for the win.

The Braves did some damage early against Zach Duke. He gave up six runs in six innings. Duke was taken deep by Chipper Jones, Brian McCann and Nate McLouth (hey, his name is familiar).

The Good

Andrew McCutchen had four hits including a double and a pair of triples

Evan Meek tossed three scoreless innings

The Bad

Jason Jaramillo struck out four times and had to pull his foot off the plate to get Jack Wilson’s throw on Ross’ grounder in the 15th, allowing the winning run to score.

Craig Monroe was thrown out at home in the 11th trying to score on a double from McCutchen.

The Rest

This was the Pirates first 15 inning contest since last April 9th against the Cubs.

Meek has pitched three innings twice in his career. The other time was May 3, 2009 in relief of Jeff Karstens against Cincinnati.

This was McCutchen’s fifth career game. The last Pirate rookie to collect four or more hits this early in his career was John Wehner who had five singles on 7/23/91 against Atlanta.

Bobby Cox picked up his 2,000 win as Braves manager.