Adam LaRoche and Freddy Sanchez took the day off today, and without the two of them or Ryan Doumit in the lineup (or, for that matter, Jack Wilson or Jason Jaramillo), the Pirates simply aren't going to generate much offense. Brian Bixler (who looked absolutely clueless today), Eric Hinske and Craig Monroe are really probably just AAA players at this point, Robinzon Diaz and Delwyn Young are bench players getting a day in the sun, and Brandon Moss and Andy LaRoche are still just youngsters looking to get acclimated. That left Nate McLouth as the sole, unambiguous, no-excuses major league regular out there today, and so it's no surprise that the Bucs only mustered two runs--one on a double by McLouth that knocked in Andy LaRoche, and another on a pretty righteous solo homer by Diaz (the first of his career). The Pirates managed only four hits.
Ross Ohlendorf ran into trouble in the fifth inning, when he allowed a homer to Jason LaRue, then allowed two singles (one on a bunt), and then hit two batters, and then another single. I'm not really sure what happened there, because before that he was very good, striking out a bunch of batters while walking only one. Unfortunately, the offense didn't give him much room for error. Evan Meek pitched well for two innings after Ohlendorf departed.
The loss was the Pirates fifth in a row, and ninth in their last ten games. If the Astros beat the Cubs tonight, the Bucs will share last place with them.