Pirates Win 4-2, But Erik Bedard Leaves With Back Spasms

May 9, 2012; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen (22) high fives the batboy after hitting a solo home run against the Washington Nationals during the eighth inning at PNC Park. The Pittsburgh Pirates won 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE

The Pirates beat the Nationals 4-2 Wednesday but lost Erik Bedard, who left the game after one inning due to back spasms.

And here we thought Bedard was invincible. There's no word on the severity of the injury, but the Post-Gazette points out that he's had back spasms before, in 2008, and only missed one start as a result. And from the Trib:

"I did it four years ago, too," Bedard said. "Same thing, one pitch. With back spasms, it usually hurts for a couple of days, gradually goes a away, and then you’re fine."

Given all the terrible things that fall into the category of Potential Injuries To Erik Bedard, this doesn't sound too bad, but there's nothing to do but wait and see. Obviously, the outlook on the Pirates' season would change drastically if he were to be unavailable for any extended period of time.

Anyway, Brad Lincoln pitched three innings after Bedard left, striking out four and allowing one run. He'd be a candidate to take Bedard's place if Bedard does in fact need time off.

The Pirates scored three off Ross Detwiler in the bottom of the third. Detwiler struck out Lincoln with one out, but Lincoln was safe at first on a wild pitch. Jose Tabata then had an infield single, and then Neil Walker and Andrew McCutchen hit RBI singles. Two batters later, Casey McGehee added an RBI single of his own.

Lincoln got some help from Yamaico Navarro in the fourth, as Navarro pulled back a potential Ian Desmond home run at the wall in left. Not a bad play for a utility infielder.

The Bucs did allow a run in the fourth and then another in the seventh; the one in the seventh was charged to Juan Cruz, for his first run allowed this year. Jason Grilli allowed a double by Ryan Zimmerman in the eighth and then intentionally walked Adam LaRoche and also walked Roger Bernadina to load the bases with one out, but he struck out Danny Espinosa and Rick Ankiel to get out of the jam.

McCutchen then homered for the second straight day, with a solo shot in the bottom of the eighth. That gave Joel Hanrahan a two-run cushion, and he seemed determined to sit on it, hitting Steve Lombardozzi and coughing up a double to Ian Desmond before getting Bryce Harper and Zimmerman to end the threat.

McCutchen went 4-for-4 on the day, and it looks like he might finally be heating up. Jared Hughes struck out four in two innings after taking over for Lincoln in the fifth. On the not-so-bright side, Alvarez went 0-for-4 with his seventh error, and this isn't the first time this season Hanrahan has had a difficult time making a save. (UPDATE: Now that I'm watching some of these at-bats a bit more closely, Alvarez is hitting the ball hard. He hasn't had a hit in his last four games, but his approach at the plate looks fine.)

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