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Florida 7, Pittsburgh 3

Not such a great game. Paul Maholm came out looking like... well, a pitcher who isn't Paul Maholm, striking out three batters in the first inning and three more in the next two innings, and he racked up nine strikeouts. Unfortunately, he also allowed two homers, including a grand slam by Pirate nemesis Mike Jacobs.

The Bucs took Maholm after five and put in Evan Meek, who pitched like he really does want to remain in Florida. (He'd have to be offered back to the Rays if the Bucs took him off the roster.) Meek allowed hits to two of the first three batters he faced, then let one of the runners score on his own throwing error.

The story here isn't really that Meek hasn't gotten it done so far (Rule 5 picks flop all the time), it's that he's being asked to pitch semi-close games. The Bucs just don't have many relievers they can rely on now. Expect whomever has a good start at Indianapolis (Sean Burnett, quite possibly) to join the team in a week or two. Happily, Damaso Marte came into the game after Meek had put it out of reach and racked up some meaningless strikeouts. Hopefully he's back on track, if he was ever really off it to begin with.

Luis 0-for-3vas made another error at short (he has two in three games there) and is now 2-for-10 on the year. It's impossible to read much into that, but I wish the Pirates hadn't dumped Ray Olmedo, who could easily hit your basic 2-for-10 without having problems defensively.

One thing to watch out for: the Bucs haven't yet used Ryan Doumit as a pinch hitter, even though they probably could have used him tonight. Again, that may not mean anything, but I hope John Russell's not playing the old Jim Tracy game of what-if-our-catcher-gets-injured.