Originally written on Raise the Jolly Roger!  |  Last updated 6/20/12

The Pirates’ bats went cold and the Twins were able to capitalize late, evening this week’s series with a 2-1 win.

Erik Bedard pitched much better, which was nice to see. He allowed a double and a single for a run in the first inning, then settled down. He struck out seven while allowing just four hits and two walks – his best effort in a while. If he can stay on track, the rotation will be in much better shape as opposed to the rough patch it’s endured over the past few weeks.

Unfortunately, Francisco Liriano–high ERA and all–was just as good. The Bucs couldn’t get anything going against the lefty early on, and seemed ticketed for a 1-0 loss through six innings. They got to him a bit in the seventh, though, finally taking advantage of his control problems. Pedro Alvarez was hit by a pitch with one out. Clint Barmes singled, and Michael McKenry walked, loading the bases for pinch-hitter Rod Barajas. Barajas lined one towards the gap in left center, but Twins CF Denard Span made a great catch, preventing a 3-run double. It was still a sac-fly, but after Jose Tabata grounded out sharply to first, the Bucs had earned only one run after coming oh-so-close to a big inning.

That would be costly, because Jason Grilli had a rare hiccup in the eighth. Josh Willingham pounded a badly located fastball well into the LF bleachers, giving the Twins the lead right back. The Bucs couldn’t manage anything despite putting a man on base in the 8th and 9th (Clint Barmes‘ unsuccessful bunt attempt-turned-strikeout  was especially maddening).

Frustrating loss….but the Bucs had been hot with the bat lately, so they were due for a bad game at the plate, I guess. For some reason I sort of felt it coming against Liriano. Still, they were in the game late, and the Twins made some crucial plays while the Pirates didn’t.  Oh well. Gotta win the series tomorrow.

Oh, and iff you need cheering up, Gerrit Cole had a pretty good debut in AA.

Twins 2, Pirates 1 / Box / 2012 Record: 35-32 / Next: Thursday, vs. Twins, 7:05

MVP: Bedard (+.148) / LVP: Grilli (-.219) / Key play: Willingham’s HR

©2012 Raise the Jolly Roger. All Rights Reserved.

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