MIAMI, FL - MAY 14: Rod Barajas #26 of the Pittsburgh Pirates celebrates with Clint Barmes #12 after hitting a home run during a game against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park on May 14, 2012 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Sarah Glenn/Getty Images)
Jose Tabata led off the game with a double and came home two batters later on a sacrifice fly by Andrew McCutchen, but Hanley Ramirez hit a titanic home run off Lincoln to tie the score in the bottom of the first. In the second, though, Rod Barajas hit a solo shot to give the Pirates a 2-1 lead. (Barajas might finally be coming alive -- in his last five games, he's 6-for-17 with two homers.)
The Marlins tied the game in the bottom of the fourth on an RBI single by Emilio Bonifacio. But Lincoln held steady for two more innings, and Pedro Alvarez hit an opposite-field, run-scoring double in the sixth to make it 3-2, Bucs.
It was a good thing that the Bucs' bullpen pitched three scoreless innings after that, because the Pirates seemed determined not to extend their lead. Barajas doubled to lead off the seventh, but got thrown out at third when Clint Barmes tried to bunt him over. Then Barmes got thrown out trying to steal second. Then in the ninth, Alex Presley walked with two outs ... and got thrown out trying to steal. Part of this might be small sample size, but the Pirates now have 16 stolen bases and 15 caught stealings this year. That's awful, and Clint Hurdle needs to do better, either by limiting the number of opportunities or picking better spots or both. Either way, the Pirates should have won by a bigger margin than they did.
Anyway, this was a nice win for Barajas and the Pirates' pitchers, and the Bucs are now 17-18 and on a three-game winning streak. They're also within three games of the NL Central lead, since the Cardinals have lost four in a row.