Bucs Can’t Overcome Duke’s Off Night

There haven’t been too many games like this for Zach Duke in 2009. Thank goodness. Duke gave up seven runs in three innings and Milwaukee held on for the win.

The Beer Maker scored five times in the first. Prince Fielder crushed a three run homer to start things off. Rookie Jason Bourgeois hit a solo homer in the second and Ryan Braun added a solo jack in the fourth off of Chris Bootcheck. Braun’s homer would be Milwaukee’s final hit of the night.

The Pirates comeback came up short. It was mostly the work of super-rook Andrew McCutchen. He hit a two run double in the second and a two run homer in the sixth. In between. Steve Pearce drove in two with a double. But that was all the Pirates could do.

The Bucs brought the tying run to the plate in the 8th and the 9th, but couldn’t manage a clutch hit.

Duke was the loser, allowing 11 hits and seven runs in three innings. Brewers starter Manny Parra was slightly better. He held on to work five innings and get the win. He gave up 10 hits and six runs. Trevor Hoffman struck out the side in the 9th for the save.

The Good

McCutchen – as always.

Lastings Milledge had two hits.

The bullpen looked good. That’s a nice change.

The Bad

Tough to get on Duke as he has been pretty solid all year, but this outing was awful.

The Rest

Milledge has two hits in five of his last 10 games and has brought his average up 40 points.

This was the second time that Cutch has knocked in four runs or more. Last time was August 1 when he hit three homers off of Washington.

Parra had allowed just three earned runs over 11-2/3 IP in his two previous starts against the Pirates.

Duke falls to 3-5 career against Milwaukee.

Fielder has double digit career HRs against every NL Central team.

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Bucs Blast Brewers with Three Homers

The Pirates bats finally showed some signs of life, as they backed up a decent enough pitching performance to end an ugly losing skid.

Trailing 1-0 after the first frame, Andy LaRoche’s sixth homer of the year – a solo shot off of Carlos Villanueva – knotted the score after two innings. Villanueva ran into more trouble. The Pirates put 10 men to the dish and scored five times on seven hits. Garrett Jones delivered a tie-breaking two run homer among the knocks.

But Milwaukee crept back in against Kevin Hart. He allowed a solo dinger to Prince Fielder and a two run shot to Mike Cameron to make it 6-4. With the score 7-5, Ronny Cedeno hit a two run homer off of Jesus Colome to give the Pirates the final cushion.

The Good

Hart’s first win as a Pirate. Decent enough outing. Most nights it wouldn’t have been enough, though.

I knew I should’ve bought that Garrett Jones jersey t-shirt at the Dick’s by the Pittsburgh airport.

Delwyn Young had three singles.

The defense turned three double plays.

The Bad

Just one BB earned.

The Rest

Skipper Ken Macha has been hitting SS Alcides Escobar in the 9th spot since J.J. Hardy’s demotion. He did it again in this game.

Hart had his first career two hit game.

This was just the second time in two months that the Pirates tallied 15 hits or more in a game.This was just the second time this month the Pirates scored more than seven runs in a game. This was just the third time since the All-Star break the Pirates put three homers over the fence in one game.

Matt Capps pitched a perfect 9th. It was the first time since July 7th that he didn’t allow a runner on base during an outing. That seems almost unbelievable.

Jason Kendall had two singles. Former Pirate Jody Gerut was unsuccessful in a pinch hitting role.

Andy LaRoche has six homers in 386 ABs. Ronny Cedeno has 8 (including five with Seattle) in 245 ABs.

Remember when Prince Fielder’s vegetarian diet was the cause of his power outage? He hit his 31st homer and now has the league lead in RBIs.

Looper Closes Down Bucs

Early to bed and early to rise means I don’t have time to post the day of the game. My apologies. Not much was missed. Braden Looper stopped the Pirates on four hits and three walks in seven shutout innings. Trevor Hoffman got the save in the 9th.

Virgil Vasquez deserved better. He went 6-2/3 and allowed two runs on nine hits. Prince Fielder had a pair of RBI singles. Vasquez walked none and struck out four and probably earned himself another start or two.

The Good

No complaints about Vasquez tonight.

Evan Meek tossed two scoreless innings.

The Bad

Wow. The offense. Ugh.

The Rest

Looper is 4-2 against the Pirates as a starter. In seven career starts he has allowed more than three runs just once.