Originally posted on Raise the Jolly Roger!  |  Last updated 6/5/12

The Pirates finally figured out how to hit Homer Bailey and continued to play great baseball on Tuesday night. Your Bucs have now won 8 out of their last 10 – and by that measure, they’re the hottest team in the NL.

Just like both their wins in Milwaukee, the Pirates played poorly in the first inning. Andrew McCutchen was thrown out trying to move up on a ball in the dirt, and the Reds jumped on A.J. Burnett for two quick runs. It didn’t look good, but Burnett was able to wriggle his way through without allowing a St. Louis-esque big inning, keeping the game well in reach.

The Bucs shocked everyone by getting the two runs right back against Bailey. Garrett Jones singled, stole second, and scored on a Casey McGehee single. Rod Barajas reached on a force-out, and then Clint Barmes doubled to the gap and Barajas scored ALL THE WAY FROM FIRST to tie the game! (A couple bobbles from the OF helped.) That was huge for the Bucs to get back in the game and stop Bailey from setting the tone.

Burnett settled down and got back into strikeout mode (8 in just 5 innings), and the Bucco bats kept working Bailey with good AB after good AB. Alex Presley smoked a triple to jump-start a big night in his return to the majors. Neil Walker then blasted a bomb to center to put the Bucs up 4-2. That wasn’t all, though…after another hit and two walks, the Pirates had the bases loaded and Bailey on the ropes. Thing is, there were two outs and Barmes was up. BUT, Clint came through with a line drive to left-center to bring in two and really break the game open. Maybe his days off actually helped, because this was Barmes’ second big day with the bat in a row. Let’s hope he keeps it up.

The Pirates added on with a couple solo shots from unlikely sources: Casey McGehee and Alex Presley. McGehee’s, of course, was his first as a Pirate (finally) and his teammates greeted him with the silent treatment in the dugout. Presley looked like the guy we saw last summer, and the guy that was killing the ball in AAA. It would be huge if he can give the Pirates that kind of production out of the leadoff spot.

Burnett only got through 5+ because of his long first and a messy start to the sixth, so the bullpen had to cover four innings. Chris Resop allowed three baserunners in his two innings, but only allowed one of Burnett’s men to score and got out of another jam in the seventh. Tony Watson pitched a scoreless eighth, but Juan Cruz struggled in the ninth. Joel Hanrahan, who should have been able to take a night off with the big lead, came in and cleaned things up brilliantly with 3 K’s for the cheap save.

The win brings the Pirates within two of the Reds for the division lead, and bumps them to two games over .500. This team is rolling right now and it’s fun to watch…let’s enjoy it as long as it lasts.

Pirates 8, Reds 4 / Box / 2012 Record: 28-26 / Next: Wednesday, at Reds, 7:10

MVP: Barmes (+.239) / LVP: Burnett (-.096) / Key play: Barmes’ 2 RBI single

©2012 Raise the Jolly Roger. All Rights Reserved.

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