The Pittsburgh Pirates returned to beautiful PNC Park to start an eleven game home stand. Their first opponent would be the Arizona Diamondbacks. Starting tonight for the Buccos was veteran Erik Bedard. Bedard had a rough go of it in June and July, but if tonight was any indication, he may be another arm to help propel the Pirates towards the playoffs.
He would pitch seven solid innings tonight and not be forced into a jam during that stretch. Erik would strikeout five, while giving up only two hits. This would all be done with only one run of support. The bullpen finished off the final two innings. Jason Grilli struck out one batter and Chad Qualls made hisPNCPark debut putting the cap on the game.
The Pirates offense struggled through the first seven innings, only collecting one run, while grounding into two double plays. That run came in the fourth on a Gaby Sanchez ground out that scored Andrew McCutchen. McCutchen reached third base on a bloop single to center field that included two errors on the throw into the infield.
The eighth inning is where Pittsburghcollected some insurance for the evening. A Neil Walker single that was mishandled by D-Backs shortstop Willie Bloomquist scored Cutch. Up next Travis Snider delivered on a ground ball to right, scoring Sanchez. The final run of the inning and game came on a Rod Barajas sac fly.
Defense also played a key in tonight’s Buccos victory. The left side of the infield saw no ball get by as Clint Barmes and Josh Harrison were flashing the leather all night long. The highlight reel defensive play of the night came when Paul Goldschmidt tried to turn a single into a double and was gunned out by a mile by Starling Marte.
No better way to start off a series and a home stand than with a win. While it would be nice to see Pittsburghcapitalize on a few more scoring opportunites, I think that is bound to happen if they keep putting the work in. Game two of this four game series is schedule for 7:05 with Jeff Karstens going for the Buccos and Patrick Corbin on the bump for the D-Backs.
Record vs. Diamondbacks: 3-1
Record vs. N.L. West: 10-9
Record at Home: 34-16
Overall Record: 62-46
Let’s Go Bucs!
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