Game 77 Recap: Errors Cost Bucs Shot at Sweep


Andrew Miller and the Red Sox bullpen held the Pirates offense to five singles and two runs. The Pirates were betrayed by some spotty defense and some walks. Three unearned runs were scored on four errors. Three of the four Boston runs were scored by players who had drawn a free pass. Boston avoided a sweep by taking the final game 4-2.

The errors started in the fourth. Jarrod Saltalamacchia doubled to start the inning against James McDonald. Andrew McCutchen cleanly handled Josh Reddick’s fly ball. But his throw to third trying to nab Saltalamacchia who was trying to tag up was wild, skipping off the glove of Chase D’Arnaud and going into the stands. That allowed Saltalamacchia to score with the first run. McDonald got Marco Scutaro to pop up and whiffed Andrew Miller to end the inning.

Pittsburgh tied it up without benefit of a hit in the bottom of the fourth. Neil Walker led off and was plunked. Matt Diaz reached on an error from Scutaro. Lyle Overbay’s fly ball to Jacoby Ellsbury in center wasn’t deep enough to score Walker. But Cedeno followed with a fly ball that did drive him in, making it one all.

The Pirates went ahead in the bottom of the fifth. McDonald walked. Jones singled and D’Arnaud’s bunt attempt went for a hit. McCutchen singled, driving in McDonald but Jones was caught too far off third base and was tagged out. With two on and one out, Walker whiffed and Diaz flied out to end the inning.

Boston tied it up without a hit in the sixth. Kevin Youkilis walked. He moved to third when McDonald threw wildly to second on a bunt attempt from Darnell McDonald. Reddick’s sac fly made it 2-2.

Boston scored the final two runs in the seventh without the benefit of a hit. Tim Wood replaced McDonald and walked Scutaro to lead off the inning. He was pulled for Daniel Moskos. David Ortiz walked and Moskos muffed a bunt attempt from Ellsbury, loading the bases with no one out. Dustin Pedroia’s ground out scored one run and put runners at second and third. A sacrifice fly from Youkilis brought in the final run.

The Bucs were held hitless over the final four frames to seal it. Jonathan Papelbon tossed a scoreless ninth for the save.

McDonald lasted six and gave up two unearned runs in five hits. He whiffed five and walked two. Wood was the loser in relief. Miller picked up the win. He went six and gave up two runs (one earned) on five singles. He walked two and struck out four.

The Good
Daniel McCutchen tossed two scoreless innings for Pittsburgh.

McDonald was fine. I’ll take that.

Welcome, Eric Fryer! He was 0-3 with a walk in his big league debut.

The Bad
The offense – five singles and two runs.

The defense – four errors and three unearned runs.

The Rest
McDonald had never faced Boston before. Miller is now 2-1 against the Pirates.

With a big help from Red Sox Nation, the Pirates set another attendance record – 39,511 people.

Jose Tabata left the game in the firt inning. He injured his leg running out a hit. He was replaced by Jones.

Adrian Gonzalez had two more hits and is 17-39 in inter-league play.

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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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