The Pirates hit five homers, including two by Andrew McCutchen, in a 15-2 rout of the Phillies Thursday night.
The first of those McCutchen homers came in the fourth, and A.J. Burnett, visiting the team in Philadelphia, was in the ROOT Sports booth. Burnett said that McCutchen had promised him he would hit two homers, and McCutchen did, also blasting off in the eighth. Which begs the question -- where has Burnett been the rest of this season?
Anyway, John Jaso (!), Sean Rodriguez and Jordy Mercer all homered as well (with Mercer's three-run shot in the seventh being the biggest blow to the Phillies' chances), and all that happened before the Bucs turned the game into a real laugher with an eight-run ninth that featured run-scoring hits by six Pirates batters. All told, the Bucs managed 13 hits, nine for extra bases. Meanwhile, Chad Kuhl (who's from Bear, Delaware, about 45 minutes from Philadelphia) had a strong outing, striking out five and walking none while giving up two runs over six innings.
This all surely was too little, too late -- last night was the first time in over a month that the Pirates have scored in double digits, and they've mostly piled up losses since that day in mid-August in Los Angeles, which also featured Kuhl on the mound. But as we head down the home stretch, it's nice to see the Pirates still had this in them. They're currently 71-74 and can at least still fight for a winning record, beginning with a road series against the Reds that starts Friday.