In the first inning, after the Pirates scored their first run on a Garrett Jones RBI single, I said that I wanted to see the Bucs pour some runs on to give them a cushion and avoid yesterday’s roller coaster. Immediately after that, Casey McGehee and Pedro Alvarez hit back-to-back homers to grow the lead from 1-0 to 5-0. At that point, I told my dad over the phone that all the Pirates really needed was six or seven innings and three runs or fewer allowed by AJ Burnett and they’d be fine.
Burnett came out of the game two outs into the sixth with the Pirates holding a 5-3 lead and a runner on first. In the eighth, Jason Grilli gave up a solo homer. In the ninth, Joel Hanrahan gave up a leadoff single to Jimmy Rollins and Rollins reached third as the tying run before Hanrahan closed the door.
But a win is a win and two wins are two wins and the Pirates escape Philadelphia with a split despite playing some ugly, ugly baseball this week. This weekend’s series against the Cardinals in St. Louis is a very, very big one.