Game 78 Recap: Presley Powers Bucs to Victory

Presley connected for his first major league tater.

Alex Presley hit his first Major League homer and drove in three runs. Kevin Correia continued to pick up wins on the road as Pittsburgh took the opener of the series in Toronto with a 7-6 win.

Presley got things going in the third inning with a two run homer off of Jo-Jo Reyes that scored Ronny Cedeno. Edwin Encarnacion hit a solo homer in the bottom of the third to make it 2-1.

Pittsburgh took control of the game with a six hit fourth inning that chases Reyes from the game. Matt Diaz followed Lyle Overbay’s lead off single with a triple that rolled to the wall after it took an artificial turf related bounce over the head of Eric Thames in right. Overbay scored on the play. Garrett Jones reached on an infield single that brought in Diaz. Ronny Cedeno singled and Jones was on third. Presley’s second hit of the night was an RBI single that scored Jones. With two outs, Neil Walker singled to center to bring in Cedeno. That was all for Reyes. He was pulled for Luis Perez. Andrew McCutchen was retired to end the inning, but it was 6-1 Pirates.

Toronto immediately struck back. Thames singled to start the bottom of the fourth and Jose Bautista homered to cut the lead to three runs. Thames and Bautista were involved again in the scoring in the sixth. Thames tripled and Chase D’Arnaud committed an error on a ball off the bat of Bautista to make it 6-4.

McCutchen hit a solo homer in the seventh to give Pittsburgh a cushion it would need. Tony Watson relieved Correia to start the sixth and he gave up solo blasts to Corey Patterson and Encarnacion to make it 7-6. Watson exited in favor of Chris Resop. He walked J.P. Arencibia and gave up a double to Yunel Escobar to put the go ahead run at second with no one out. Resop got Thames to whiff and then intentionally walked Bautista to load the bases. Jose Veras was called on to quell the fire and did so by getting the inning ending double play from Adam Lind on a line drive to Overbay at first.

Veras pitched a perfect eighth and Joel Hanrahan tossed a scoreless ninth to close it out.

Correia wasn’t as sharp as normal, but benefited from some better than typical run support. He lasted six innings and gave up four runs on five hits and a walk. He struck out two. Reyes lasted just 3-2/3. He gave up nine hits and a walk that results in six runs. He whiffed five. Hanrahan is 23 for 23 in save chances.

The Good
Happy with twelve hits, two homers and seven runs from the offense.

Jose Veras got out of a tough spot in the seventh.

Diaz had three hits. Cedeno and Presley each had two.

The defense executed three double plays.

The Bad
Bucs whiffed into double digits, again.

The Rest
Correia evened his career mark against Toronto at 1-1. Reyes is 0-2 against Pittsburgh.

Correia picked up his 10th win. Last Buc pitcher to have 10 wins before the All-Star break was Bob Walk in 1993. After starting 10-6, Walk went 3-8 after the break to end up at 13-14.

This was Pittsburgh’s 21st road win. They won just 17 road games in 2010 and 22 in 2009. Correia has eight of the team’s road wins in 2011.

This was Pittsburgh’s second multi-homer game in June and the second in three games.

As bad as he was in Cincinnati in 2008, I’m surprised that Corey Patterson is still in the league. He is having an okay year. But I have to believe there is someone in the Blue Jays farm system who could do what he is doing.




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