Tonight's game was sort of like a bizarro version of last night's game. Fresh off his back spasm/DL flirtation, Jeremy Guthrie made a much anticipated start and failed to deliver the type of performance to which we've frankly become accustomed. After three innings of what looked batting practice, the Buccos amassed a 5-0 lead. On the other side, despite allowing baserunners in every inning after the first (including a double to Guts) Pittsburgh starter James McDonald repeatedly managed to wiggle his way out of trouble. In the bottom of the 4th, Guts seemed to get on track and put down the Pirates in order, paving the way for an brief O's breakout. In the top of the 5th, J.J. Hardy led off the inning with a homer, then a Nick Markakis single was followed by big home run by Adam Jones which seemed to breathe new life into the O's offense. Apparently, Robert Andino didn't get the memo and a simmering rally was quelled as he watched a third strike with two men on. In the following inning, Garret Jones opened things with an absolute scorcher to left center that Adam Jones somehow ran down and plucked out of its descent. Guts managed to hang tough through the 6th, but ran out of gas in the 7th and was relieved by Brad Bergesen. Bergy induced a double play to hold the Bucs at bay, but the relief proved to be mere delay of the inevitable.
Within sniffing distance of a comeback, and the top of the order due up in the 9th, it all went pear shaped for Bergy in the bottom of the 8th. Bergesen would retire a couple batters, but not before allowing 2 singles, 2 doubles and 3 runs to allow the PIrates to seize control of the game at 9-3. Clay Rapada would finish the inning off with a strike out.
Overall, a pretty unsatisfying game. Hardy looked solid at the plate, but had a minor brain freeze in the field; the Doctor was solid at the plate and made the highlight reel grab, but totally whiffed on a routine play in the outfield. Andino was a disaster again and Reynolds made another error. As for the pitchers? Well, it's a rough night when Clay Rapada is your only unqualified success.
Remember: day game tomorrow, peeps!