Pirates Pull Out Another One-Run Win, 2-1

PHOENIX, AZ - APRIL 18: Aaron Hill #2 of the Arizona Diamondbacks drops the ball while attempting to turn a double play against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Chase Field on April 18, 2012 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

Aaaand Juan Cruz now leads the Pirates in saves, because that's just how this team works. We spend half of the first two weeks talking about closer usage, and then Clint Hurdle bends over backwards to get his closer saves when he shouldn't, and then some minor-league free agent ends up taking the lead in that category when Joel Hanrahan misses two days.

Similarly, Pedro Alvarez, the guy who has spent most of the year looking less like a major leaguer than anyone I've ever seen in a Pirates uniform, tied for the Pirates team lead in home runs today when he hit a solo shot in the seventh to tie the game at one. Daniel Hudson threw a thigh-high meatball, and Alvarez sent a line drive over the wall in right. That was Alvarez's second hit of the year, and his second homer. As someone pointed out in the comments, he has no hits on balls in play. (He also walked today, drawing a 3-and-0 count in the fifth before eventually taking ball four; he got in a 2-and-0 count before hitting the homer too. For him, that's a big deal.)

James McDonald threw 78 pitches through four and had to be replaced by Brad Lincoln, but McDonald only allowed one run (on a triple by Willie Bloomquist and a single by Jason Kubel in the first), and Lincoln, fresh up from Indianapolis, pitched three scoreless innings of his own. Lincoln struck out four, and he certainly got the job done, but it wasn't always pretty -- he gave up a triple to Aaron Hill to lead off the sixth, but struck out Kubel and got Ryan Roberts to ground into a double play to get out of it. He walked two batters in the seventh.

The Bucs took the lead in the eighth when Clint Barmes started a two-out rally with a single (these two-out rallies also seem to have become a theme in this strange season) and Andrew McCutchen followed with a single of his own. Neil Walker then hit a dying quail to bring Barmes home. After that came Chris Resop (who somehow didn't pitch yesterday) and Cruz, who protected the lead.

So: The brutal West Coast trip is now over, and the Pirates are 5-7. It could be better, but it could also be a lot worse.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Bucs Dugout

You must be a member of Bucs Dugout to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Bucs Dugout. You should read them.

Join Bucs Dugout

You must be a member of Bucs Dugout to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Bucs Dugout. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9351_tracker