Here's a recap of last night's game, for which I'm pretty sure no Bucs Dugout authors were awake from start to finish. The Cliffs notes on the Bucs' five-hour, 9-8 victory:
-P- The Bucs built an early 7-0 lead thanks largely to a string of singles in the third and RBI doubles by David Freese and Francisco Cervelli in the fourth. The Pirates chased Jon Gray after 3.2 innings and six runs, forcing him to throw 96 pitches in the process.
-P- In the bottom of the fourth, though, Jon Niese hit a wall, giving up homers to Trevor Story and Nolan Arenado, followed by extra-base hits for Mark Reynolds and Ryan Raburn and a ground-ball single to DJ LeMahieu that moved the Rockies to within three.
-P- The Rockies got another run in the sixth and. Gregory Polanco's second homer of the year made it 8-5 in the top of the seventh, but Neftali Feliz allowed a no-doubt two-run shot to Reynolds in the bottom of the inning to make it 8-7. The Rockies then tied it in the eighth on a solo homer by Gerardo Parra off fellow lefty Tony Watson.
-P- That began a long string of scoreless innings, because of course it did -- it's the Pirates and it's the middle of the night, so whatever happens has to be as weird as possible while taking as long as possible. Kyle Lobstein, of all people, took over for three innings and got one ground-ball out after another. The Bucs finally retook the lead in the 12th as Polanco walked and then came around as Jordy Mercer doubled to right-center off someone named Carlos Estevez. Mark Melancon recorded the save, perhaps getting the benefit of an incorrectly called third strike on Story to end the game.
-P- The victory was the Pirates' fourth straight, and they now have a better winning percentage than any NL team other than the Cubs, Nationals and Mets. They'll finish off their series in Denver with a 3:10 game tomorrow -- I mean, today. Let's hope it's a shorter game, because the Bucs are due to host the Reds on Friday -- I mean, tomorrow. A day off might have been nice after a ten-day swing through San Diego, Arizona and especially Colorado, but the Bucs have to keep rolling. They're playing perfectly well right now, but they could still use a breather after their bullpen got through seven innings tonight -- I mean, yesterday.