Pirates 3, Marlins 2

When it's April and the optimists are imagining what a .500 season would look like for the Pirates, this is probably the sort of game they envision happening a lot. Despite a big game by Jorge Cantu, the Pirates basically kept the Marlins in check, as Paul Maholm had an excellent start, and the bullpen went fairly seamlessly from Yates to Marte to Grabow and finally to Capps. There were no errors (although Brian Bixler let a grounder eat him up). 

Naturally, Nate McLouth's hitting streak ended in this one - he went 0-for-2 with two walks. Adding insult to injury, he also got "caught stealing" at second on a call the umpire completely bungled. (The Pirates got a gift call of their own later in the game, though.)

Maholm's season looks like it's back on track - he pitched six innings tonight, allowing one run and striking out six. His ERA is down to 4.22, and he now has 19 strikeouts in 21.1 innings. Funny how one start this early in the season can make things look that much better.

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