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Pirates Complete Sweep of Cubs, 11-1

Finally, a blowout that the Pirates wound up on the right side of. The Bucs got some help from Randy Wells, who had an awful start--he began the game with walks to Akinori Iwamura and Andy LaRoche and wasn't much better thereafter. The first five Pirates reached base, and in general the Pirates scored eleven runs today not through overwhelming power, but by plating runners. It'll be worthwhile to keep this game in mind next time we're complaining about the Pirates' offense not capitalizing on opportunities. It helped, of course, that the Pirates did reach base a fair amount--in addition to their nine hits, the Bucs drew seven walks, three of which were by LaRoche, who currently has a .407 OBP. Brian Burres did his usual 86 MPH thing, which today seemed to work fine. Nice game overall--in fact, it was so nice that Lastings Milledge nearly hit a homer. (He ended up looking pretty silly getting called out running around second after raising his hands in celebration, and out of context it might look like a typically immature Milledge moment, but in his defense, everyone else in the stadium was fooled too.)

In the minors, Brad Lincoln, Jose Tabata, Neil Walker, Brandon Moss and Erik Kratz all had big days for Indianapolis, which beat Buffalo 9-2. Lincoln had seven strikeouts in six innings. Altoona lost 2-1 to Richmond. Bradenton got two-hit (!!!) by Charlotte, and Jeff Locke (who'd been having a nice season before tonight) allowed four runs in four innings. West Virginia lost 5-3 to Greensboro, although Nate Baker posted a quality start.