Greinke Prevents Sweep

Zach Greinke was once again tough, allowing just two runs – split apart by an hour long rain delay – in 6-1/3 innings of work. The Bucs were trailing 2-0 heading into the bottom of the 7th. Adam LaRoche singled and after Andy LaRoche tripled him in, play was stopped. Jamey Wright took the thill following the delay. He allowed an RBI groundout to Jason Jaramillo as the Royals bullpen retired the final eight Pirate hitters to seal the deal.

David DeJesus homered and drove in two off of Charlie Morton who suffered his first setback on the year. He gave up three runs on seven hits in five innings.

The Good

The bullpen tossed four scoreless innings, giving up just one hit.

Jeff Karstens tossed another scoreless inning in relief.

The Bad

Andrew McCutchen was once again hitless, dropping his average below .300.

Offense still can’t get going.

The Rest

Greinke picked up his 10th win.

The Pirates won consecutive series for the first time since taking 2 of 3 from Colorado and then 3 of 4 from Washington (5-15 to 5-20).

Adam LaRoche is hitting .365 for June.

Through 75 games last year, the Buccos were 36-39 and 11 games out. This year they are one game worse at 35-40 yet remain in striking distance, entering today’s game at 5 out.

 

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Maholm Sharp as Bucs Win 4th Straight

Paul Maholm allowed just four singles, a triple and two runs in seven innings to beat KC. He put the Pirates in a hole early as Billy Butler had RBI singles in the first and third innings. But Delwyn Young popped a three run homer in the fourth and added an insurance RBI in the 8th to pace the offense.

Bruce Chen was the loser. He made his way back from Tommy John surgery to make his first appearance since April 20, 2007.

John Grabow and Jeff Karstens finished up with an inning each of shutout relief.

The Good

Young continues to be a productive bat.

Maholm has scuffled a bit lately (4-6 with a 5.22 ERA in his last 10 starts). It’d be great to get him going.

The Bad

Andrew McCutchen failed to reach base for the first time since June 10 and had his first ever streak of consecutive hitless games.

The Rest

Chen’s last start was 8/4/06. Chen’s last appearance against Pittsburgh was 6/8/05 when he was beaten by the pitching of Kip Wells and four RBI from Rob Mackowiak.

Young established a career best in RBI.

Vasquez Sharp in Bucs Debut

Exit Ian Snell, enter Virgil Vasquez. The Pirates waiver wire acquisition who hadn’t tossed in the Show since 2007 picked up his first career win with six solid innings. He allowed four hits and two runs, while whiffing seven. He took the roster spot of the struggling Ian Snell who was sent to Indianapolis to get straightened out.

The Pirates trailed 2-0 early but came back on the shoulders of three unlikely power sources. Jack Wilson, Nyjer Morgan and Jason Jaramillo each homered to hand the loss to Gil Meche.

Matt Capps finished up by allowing a home run in the 9th and putting the tying run on base.

The Good

Welcome Virgil Vasquez! More, please!

Andrew McCutchen had his hitting streak stopped but reached base on an HBP and BB and scored both times.

The Bad

The offense continues to just get by with enough runs in putting together a three game winning streak.

The Rest

Vasquez joins Steven Jackson as Pirates who notched their first career win in 2009.

Vasquez’ seven K performance is second best on the team in June. He topped seven whiffs at AAA Indy this season just once.

Jack Wilson has raised his BA 20 points in the last 10 games by hitting safely in 9 of 10 contests and piling up four multi-hit games.