Game 8: Dotel, Bucs Hang on to Beat SF

It was a 4-3 game heading into the 9th. Andy LaRoche homered and Akinori Iwamura singled in another run giving the Pirates a seemingly comfortable three run lead. Not quite. Octavio Dotel allowed a two run homer to Eugenio Velez who had tied the game earlier with an RBI ground out. Dotel got the next three hitters without incident and the Bucs emerged with a 6-5 win.

Matt Cain gave up three runs in the first three innings, including a solo homer to Iwamura. Paul Maholm danced out of some trouble, but allowed a single run in three different innings. He was pulled after walking the first hitter in the sixth. Evan Meek relieved and allowed that runner to score the tying run on a one out dribbler to second off the bat of Velez. Garrett Jones untied it with an RBI single in the 8th – his second RBI of the game – off of losing pitcher Jeremy Affeldt. That 8th inning tally was aided by an Edgar Renteria error.

Cain allowed five hits and three runs in six innings. Maholm was reached for three runs and eight hits in five plus innings of toil. Meek got the win in relief. Dotel held on for the save.

The Good
Andrew McCutchen singled, walked twice, stole two bases and scored three times.

Jones had three hits and knocked in a pair. He also started the relay that nailed Pablo Sandoval at the plate in the 5th inning. Later, after being switched from RF to 1B, he made a diving catch of a Sandoval liner to end the game.

LaRoche’s homer was his first XBH of the season.

The Bad
Maholm allowed a slew of base runners – eleven to be exact – in five innings. That’ll hurt the WHIP.

The Rest
Bengie Molina followed up his four hit game with two more hits. That gave him six hits over a two game stretch for the first time since September 19-20, 2008.

This was McCutchen’s third three walk game of his career. It was also the third time he stole two or more bases in a game. He currently leads the NL in swipes.

Velez wound up with three RBI. This was his sixth career three RBI game. In each of the previous games he drove in three or more runs, he failed to homer.

Analysis
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