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Pirates give up 6 runs in first, lose 7-3

Justin K. Aller

The Pirates at least allowed six runs in the first inning tonight, which at least is way more considerate than the way they lost in the Washington series. This time, you could just watch 15 minutes of bad baseball, not feel too invested in it, and get on with your life. And you didn't have to gnash your teeth about the Pirates' bullpen, which had nothing to do with any of this.

Lost in the Vance Worley / Neil Walker six-run first-inning mess was that Starling Marte hit two home runs, and that Worley gutted his way through six innings, striking out eight. John Axford also had another fine outing. Those things are interesting, and they have value, even though you probably didn't see them.

At this point, though, the Pirates' losing streak is six games long, and the shallowness of their roster is beginning to catch up with them. Brent Morel started at third base today and went 0-for-4 with three whiffs. Worley was a great find who looks like he'll be part of the Pirates' rotation next season, but he seems to be coming down to earth after his otherworldly start -- his ERA has risen more than half a run in his last two starts. The bullpen continues to be an issue, even if it wasn't tonight. And so on. Sometimes losing and even losing streaks just happen, and maybe that will be the case with this one, but it's hard to watch it unfold when you know very well that this team has significant flaws.