Game 73 Recap: Bucs Offense Breaks Out

Jones poked a two run double in the first.

It was a strange night as the Pirates offense was bountiful but starter James McDonald failed to pitch five innings. Either way, Pittsburgh snapped a four game skid by beating up on Jeremy Guthrie and the Orioles.

Jose Tabata and Josh Harrison singled to start the game against Guthrie. He then gave up a two run double to Garrett Jones. Andrew McCutchen dropped a bunt that pushed Jones to third and he scored on Neil Walker’s sac fly.

Pittsburgh tacked on another in the second when Tabata’s two out double scored Ronny Cedeno. The Bucs offense continued to pile on with one more tally in the third. McCutchen walked and Walker singled him to third. Xavier Paul’s fly ball scored him to make it 4-0.

After wriggling out of a couple of jams without a blemish early (Baltimore left two on in the second, wasted a lead off double in the third and stranded two more in the fourth), the O’s finally got to McDonald in the fifth. J.J. Hardy bopped a lead off homer. Nick Markakis singled and Adam Jones homerd, cutting the lead to 5-3. Matt Wieters singled and with two outs, McDonald walked Mark Reynolds. And that was it for McDonald. He was pulled for Chris Resop. He whiffed Robert Andino to end the inning.

The Pirates got some breathing room in the late innings. In the seventh, a single from Harrison, a walk McCutchen and an error that allowed Walker to reach loaded the bases with one out. Xavier Paul singled in one run. That sent Guthrie to the showers. Brad Bergesen relieved and Ronny Cedeno grounded into a double play to end the inning. In the eighth, Michael McKenry started with a double. Matt Diaz singled and a grounder from Tabata scored McKenry to make it 7-3 Pittsburgh. Brandon Wood singled and McCutchen walked. With two out and the bases loaded, Walker hit a two run double score the final two runs of the game.

McDonald went 4-2/3 and gave up three runs on seven hits. He walked four and struck out three. Resop picked up the win in relief. Guthrie lasted 6-1/3. He yielded eleven hits that scored six runs (five earned). He walked three and struck out two. After Resop, Tony Watson, Jose Veras and Tim Wood each tossed a hitless inning of relief to close it out.

The Good
4-1/3 innings of scoreless relief.

A balanced offense had 15 hits and scored nine runs. Tabata, Harrison, Walker, Cedeno and McKenry each had two safeties.

The Bad
McDonald couldn’t get out of the fifth inning.

The Rest
McDonald had never faced the Orioles before this contest. This was also Guthrie’s first appearance against Pittsburgh.

Three wins represents a career best for Resop.

One day after lamenting the lack of games in which a Bucco walked three times, McCutchen walked three times. His last three walk game was 6/19/10 against Cleveland.

The 15 hits was the most collected by Pittsburgh since June 8. The last time the Pirates scored nine runs was June 1.

Author: Randy Linville

Randy is currently living and thriving in suburban Dayton, OH with his wife and two kids. He was raised in Cincinnati, OH and attended Anderson High School. He went to Miami University (Ohio) and received a degree in Paper Science Engineering from MU. He is a devout Christian and a pop culture buff. He coaches his son’s baseball and basketball teams and his daughters softball and basketball teams. Randy has been a Pirates fan since the late 1970s and has fond memories of the 1979 World Series team. He began blogging for Most Valuable Network in 5/2004 after stumbling across a help-wanted sign for a Pirates blogger. He wrote for Pittsburgh Lumber Co. until the site merged with Pirates Prospects in 2/2011.

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