Pedro Alvarez hit his first career grand slam as part of a nine run first inning and the Pirates hung on to win 11-9.
Alvarez’ slam came with one out in the first off Dave Bush. The Brewers then made errors on the next three balls in play, allowing one run to score. With two outs Jose Tabata, Delwyn Young and Neil Walker hit consecutive doubles that drove home four more.
That should’ve sealed it. Far from it. Brad Lincoln was handed a 9-0 lead after one inning. He was staring straight at his second career win. And he couldn’t get out of the third inning. Milwaukee got an HBP a double and three singles to score three times in the second. But the Pirates answered with a solo homer from Alvarez leading off the second inning. Lincoln got pulled after allowing a three run homer to Jim Edmonds, a triple to Alcides Escobar and an RBI single to rookie Jonathon Lucroy. D.J. Carrasco relieved and pitched scoreless baseball over 2-2/3 inning.
Ryan Braun hit a two run homer off of Brendan Donnelley to pull Milwaukee within a run at 10-9 in the sixth. The Pirates got one more when Garrett Jones lofted a sac fly in the bottom of the sixth. Evan Meek, Joel Hanrahan and Octavio Dotel pitched a scoreless inning each to end it.
Carrasco got the win. Bush went four and gave up 10 runs (five earned) on nine hits. Lincoln got seven outs, allowed seven runs and gave up nine hits. Dotel was credited with a save.
Getting the bats going early.
Hanging on late.
Bucs had not scored 9 runs in the first inning since 6/8/89 when they clobbered former Pirate Larry McWilliams (then of Philly). Pirate fans fondly recall this as the game in which former Pirate hurler Jim Rooker – at that point a member of the broadcast team – stated on the air as the Phils hit for the first time that he’d walk home if the Pirates lost. They, of course, did. Followign the season, Rooker did walk from Philly to the Steel City and raised money for a charity that I have since forgotten. The Phillies comeback was powered by Steve Jeltz of all people. He had only five career homers, but hit two in the game in question. Bob Walk was the Pirate starter who was unable to hold the lead.
This was Alvarez’ first grand slam and first two homer game.
Walker was 5-5 (four singles and a double). This was the first five hit game of Walker’s career. I don’t think Andy LaRoche will see the light of day again, unless someone is injured.