Pirates' pitchers rocked as Bucs lose 18-9

USA TODAY Sports

The Braves piled up runs against Pirates pitching in an 18-9 blowout.

Starter Kyle McPherson allowed nine of those 18 runs, including two homers. He didn't walk anyone, and a lot of the hits against him in a five-run first came on ground balls, but those are about the only nice things you can say. If it weren't already pretty likely that Jeff Locke would be the Pirates' fifth starter (assuming Jeff Karstens is ready to go), it's certainly looking clearer now.

Vin Mazzaro relieved McPherson and allowed six runs of his own, and then Tony Watson, making his return from his bout with mechanical and physical troubles, entered and allowed three runs. Jared Hughes then pitched a perfect eighth, for which Disney ought to throw him a parade.

The good news is that the Pirates did at least manage to score nine. Andrew McCutchen went 2-for-4 with a homer, and Jordy Mercer went 2-for-3 with a triple. Felix Pie and Brandon Inge also each had two hits apiece.

UPDATE by WHYG Zane Smith: Also apparently Mike McKenry fielded a foul ball with the wrong part of his body.

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