I look forward to the day when I can write that Paul Maholm got plenty of offensive support. Today isn’t that day. The Pirates offense was once again woeful. Maholm was solid. Those two things once again equaled a Pirates loss – their sixth straight.
The offense collected ten hits. That’s good. What isn’t good is leaving nine men on base and having three others erased on the base paths.
It looked promising early. Andrew McCutchen and Jose Tabata singled to start the game off John Lannan. Neil Walker grounder into a double play. But Steve Pearce delivered a two out RBI single.
Maholm was also touched early. With one out in the first, Ian Desmond walked. Jayson Werth singled. Wilson Ramos followed with a single, knotting the score. But Andy LaRoche lined into a double play to end the inning.
Pittsburgh stranded two runners in the second and had two tagged out on the bases in the fourth. Brandon Wood walked to lead off the fourth inning. Chris Snyder singled but Wood was thrown out trying to go to third. Ronny Cedeno followed with a double to put runners on second and third. Paul Maholm’s failed squeeze attempt resulted in Snyder being out and the threat being averted.
Maholm retired the side in order in innings two through four. With two outs in the fifth, he gave up a solo homer to Jerry Hairston, Jr. But Pittsburgh tied it in the seventh. Cedeno walked and moved to second on a successful bunt from Maholm. That ended Lannan’s night. In came Cole Kimball and he yielded a game tying RBI triple to McCutchen.
The tie was short lived. In the bottom of the seventh, Michael Morse reached on a one out single. Maholm exited in favor of Jose Veras. But he surrendered a two run dinger to David Espinosa for the final runs of the game.
The Pirates had one more shot in the ninth against Drew Storen. Ryan Doumit and Garrett Jones reached on singles. But Storen retired McCutchen and Tabata to end it.
Maholm was charged with three runs in 6-1/3 innings. He struck out seven and gave up four hits and two walks. Lannan received a no decision. He gave up two runs in 6-1/3 innings. He gave up seven hits and four walks. Kimball was the winner in relief. Storen got the save.
McCutchen, Tabata and Cedeno each had two hits.
Losing six straight.
Only scoring two runs.
Having two men retired on the bases in the same inning.
This was Kimball’s first career win.
Cedeno has hits in 14 of his last 16 games. He is hitting .333 in that span and raised his average from .179 to .243.
Anyone surprised that Adam LaRoche is hitting .182? He hit .296 in April last year, which was by far his best April ever. He hit .269 in April 2009. His career April batting average is .208.
Maholm fell to 1-6. He lost his sixth game on June 28 last year. Maholm is now 1-5 in his career against Washington. His lone win in 2011 is also his only career win against Washington.
Lannan remains 1-4 against Pittsburgh.
This was the first time all year the Pirates offense collected double digit hits in back-to-back games. In the six game losing streak, the Pirates got just 16 hits in the first three losses and have stroked 29 safeties in the three most recent loses. Last time they lost as many as six was a seven game losing streak in August 2010. They were beaten in the finale of a homestand by Colorado and were then swept on the road in three game series by the Padres and the Astros.