Originally posted on Raise the Jolly Roger!  |  Last updated 4/29/12

Erik Bedard finally got some run support and was able to put it to good use, as the Bucs knocked off the Braves in a solid win on Saturday night in Atlanta.

Bedard only lasted five because of a high pitch count, but that was enough for him to pick up his first Bucco win and strike out nine. He allowed one run, but–similar to A.J. Burnett last night–it is SO nice to see Pirates pitchers with above average strikeout ability. Bedard certainly had that tonight, and it helped him keep the NL’s top offense at bay.

The Pirates struck in the first when Alex Presley came around (after leading off the game with his traditional infield single) on a Garrett Jones sac fly. They picked up two more in the second on a Presley RBI double and a Jose Tabata RBI single. They’d get yet another chance in the third when Neil Walker singled with one out and Pedro Alvarez doubled down the third base line, but Clint Barmes struck out, Rod Barajas was intentionally walked, and Bedard bounced out.

Those three runs would be enough for Bedard, though, and the Pirates added on anyway in the fifth. Pedro pounded a double to the right field wall t0 bring in Walker, who had also doubled. Alvarez had two doubles tonight (as well as two strikeouts) but continues to look much more comfortable at the plate. Great to see.

The offense was quiet the rest of the way against the Atlanta bullpen, but the Pirate bullpen did the job as well. Chris Resop yielded one run in the sixth, but Juan Cruz got a big double play in the seventh, Jason Grilli struck out the side in a dominant eighth, and Joel Hanrahan tossed a 1-2-3 ninth (capped off by a Tabata catch at the wall to end it).

In total, Pirates pitchers struck out 14 Braves hitters. That’s the most by a Bucs staff in a 9-inning game since 2004. Bedard’s 9 K’s were the most by a Pirate lefty since Paul Maholm in 2008. I’m liking this “strikeout” thing, and it’s a big part of why Pirates pitching has had so much success so far this year.

Pirates 4, Braves 2 / Box / 2012 Record: 9-11 / Next: Sunday, at Braves, 1:35

MVP: Presley (+.149) / LVP: Barmes (-.082) / Key play: Prado’s DP ball in the 7th

©2012 Raise the Jolly Roger. All Rights Reserved.

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