The Pirates completed a sweep of the Rangers with a 7-5 win Wednesday afternoon, confusing everyone yet again.
Remember three days ago, when Bucs fans (including me) were worried about the Pirates limping to the finish line after they got blown out in four straight games? Not so much anymore, and this isn't the first time this has happened this season. Whenever the Pirates have begun to spin out of control, they've righted themselves. These last couple months have provided a great lesson on why we shouldn't overreact to patterns that don't mean much. (Speaking of which!) The Bucs are now just a half-game back of the Cardinals, and two up on the Reds.
The Pirates grabbed a 1-0 lead in the third when Felix Pie, starting in place of Andrew McCutchen, walked, stole second, and then came home on a Neil Walker single. (Side note: Pie is pretty fast.) They got two more in the fourth after their first three batters reached base -- Clint Barmes walked with the bases full (!) and Jose Tabata brought home a run with a force out.
The Bucs fended off a Rangers comeback in the late innings -- after Texas scored two in the sixth, the Pirates got two of their own in the seventh. The Rangers scored three in the bottom of the inning to cut the lead to 6-5, but the Bucs picked up an insurance run on a Clint Barmes homer off the foul pole in the eighth, and the Pirates' bullpen took over from there, with Kyle Farnsworth picking up the save (!!!) because Mark Melancon and Jason Grilli were unavailable.