Found June 17, 2012 on Raise the Jolly Roger!:
For the second straight day, the Bucs broke out for a 9-run offensive explosion in Cleveland, carrying them to a rare road interleague series win. The star was Pedro Alvarez, who homered twice for the second straight day. It’s amazing how good he looks at the plate when he’s hot, and after this weekend I’m pretty sure we can officially declare him hot. Both homers were lasers to right, and later in the game he nearly picked up a third with an opposite field rocket double off the very high wall out in left field.  Both homers were three-run shots (another major rarity for the Pirates), so he had 6 RBI’s on the afternoon. At this point, nobody really knows what’s going with Pedro. We’ve seen little hot stretches like this from him before and he hasn’t been able to build on that success in the long term. There’s obviously no way to tell if this time will be different, but he was certainly locked in this weekend and the Pirates will be happy to ride him as long as possible. The four homers in two days give him 12 on the year, moving him past Andrew McCutchen for the team lead. Pedro’s first homer bailed out a rough start from Brad Lincoln, who allowed a solo HR in the first, another run in a messy second, and two more in the fourth after Pedro’s bomb briefly put the Bucs ahead 3-2. It was more of the same from Lincoln – he labored through just 3.1 innings and didn’t appear to be effective at any point. I know he deserves a chance and it’s only been a few starts, but his leash has to be getting awfully short after another pretty terrible outing. Alex Presley blasted a solo shot for the second day in a row to tie the game, and some miscues by Cleveland shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera allowed the Bucs to pile it on. With the bases loaded and one out, Casey McGehee bounced a picture-perfect DP ball, but Cabrera bobbled it and then tried to slap it towards second, but missed badly. Two runs scored, and the next batter was Alvarez, who crushed another three-run bomb to break the game open. Cabrera also made a two-out error immediately preceding Pedro’s first homer, so it wasn’t a very good day at the office for him. Tony Watson and Jared Hughes both did good work in multiple-inning relief (Watson took the win), then Jason Grilli and Joel Hanrahan shut things down in the 8th and 9th (no harm in using them up 4 with an off day Monday). It was definitely great to see the Pirates pick up some sub-par starting pitching with a big day on offense for once. They scored 9 runs for the second consecutive day and hit 7 homers over that stretch. That’s how you come back from a tough shutout loss. After a brutal start to this road trip, the Bucs were able to salvage it with a series win over a decent team, hopefully building some momentum coming into a homestand against Minnesota and Detroit. Cincinnati hasn’t lost ever since the Bucs tied them for first a week ago, so the deficit in the NL Central is still at four. The Pirates are, however, within just a half-game of a wild-card spot, so they’re still right in the thick of things despite the nightmare in Baltimore. The Pirates have now won 5 of their last 6 series, so everyone should be feeling a little better now. Pirates 9, Indians 5 / Box / 2012 Record: 34-31 / Next: Tuesday, vs. Twins, 7:05 MVP: Alvarez (+.426) / LVP: Lincoln (-.368) / Key play: Pedro’s 3-run HR ©2012 Raise the Jolly Roger. All Rights Reserved..

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