Tonight was Francisco Liriano’s turn to have a good start for a change. Unfortunately, Liriano is not a Pirate, and his 6 strikeouts, 4 hits, and 1 run were not what the Pirates needed tonight. Liriano never allowed more than one hit in an inning.
The only big inning for the Pirates was the 7th, where the Pirates managed to load the bases on a HBP, single, and a walk. A Rod Barajas sac fly tied the game at 1 and knocked Liriano out of the game. Jared Burton got Jose Tabata to ground out the inning.
Josh Willingham’s 8th inning homer off Grilli put the Twins on top for good, giving them the 2-1 win.
Erik Bedard deserves much credit as well, lasting 6 innings and also giving up just 1 run and 4 hits. Bedard struck out 7 Twins hitters. Unfortunately, the homer given up by Grilli put the Buccos on the wrong side of this one. Another bright spot, in addition to Bedard’s excellent start, was Doug Slaten’s perfect inning to end the game.
The Reds lost as well, so the Pirates remain 2.5 games out of 1st place. Tomorrow’s matchup is Liam Hendricks (0-3, 7.83 ERA) vs. James McDonald (5-3, 2.32 ERA). You can expect another excellent game preview from Rich tomorrow.