The Pirates spent 12 days prior to Saturday not getting breaks, so I think it’s only fair that they got a couple this afternoon. Trailing by a run with runners on first and second and no out in the eighth inning, the Pirates elected to use Andy LaRoche to pinch hit with the purpose of bunting the two runners over for the struggling 1-2 rookie punch of Jose Tabata and Neil Walker. LaRoche’s bunt worked, but the Pirates wouldn’t have scored if not for a wild pitch. Then, after Andrew McCutchen walked and Garrett Jones singled, the Pirates elected to bunt again, this time with the scorching hot Lastings Milledge. Milledge again got the runners over, but that brought Pedro Alvarez up to face lefty reliever Tony Sipp. Sipp got ahead of Alvarez 0-2, but made an awful two-strike pitch that Pedro ripped into right for a sac fly.
Brendan Donnelly also managed to get out of his own jam in the eighth and Brad Lincoln only gave up three runs (and just one after Carlos Santana’s two-run homer in the first) despite giving up a bunch of hits and more flyballs (8) than groundballs (5).
But a win’s a win and now the Pirates have two in a row, which is good because they’re about to head on the road for more interleague play, and we all know how that’s going to go.