The Pirates bounced back with a productive game at the plate on Saturday night as they earned a 7-4 win over the Marlins, evening this weekend’s series. They did it with some things we aren’t used to seeing: offense from Michael McKenry and lots of base hits with RISP.
McKenry had a fantastic game and collected four hits, a career high. The Fort has looked better lately and did an admirable job filling in for Russell Martin, who “tweaked” his knee on Friday. Late in the game, though, McKenry appeared to be in serious pain as well. Martin looked ready to come in to the game despite the knee, but McKenry stayed in…even though he couldn’t even run to first in his final at-bat. If one of them isn’t ready to go tomorrow, expect Tony Sanchez to be up with the club soon.
The Pirates jumped on Marlins starter Tom Koehler right away for three runs, thanks to three quick base hits with RISP. Starling Marte, Neil Walker, and Garrett Jones all doubled, plus the Fort knocked in a run with a single. Walker would add another big RBI double, Marte and Jones both had another hit, and Andrew McCutchen was on base three times, so it was a big night for the top of the order. Definitely a nice turnaround after Friday’s brutal shutout loss.
Charlie Morton had a pretty mediocre start – he gave up nine hits and lasted just five innings – but he was a victim of some poor defense at times (which Charlie is used to, of course) and struck out six while walking zero. That still makes it a worthwhile outing in my opinion…and the run support certainly didn’t hurt. Morton gave up runs after both innings the Pirates scored in, but limited damage enough to keep the team ahead.
The bullpen did a great job shutting things down late in the game. Clint Hurdle mixed and matched in the sixth, seventh, and eighth, using Justin Wilson, Bryan Morris, and Tony Watson. All three got the job done. Mark Melancon issued an alarming leadoff walk in the ninth but recovered for a save – his fourth.
Pirates 7, Marlins 4 / Box / 2013 Record: 61-41 / Next: Sunday, vs. Marlins, 1:10