Barmes, Buccos, bring the bats back

The Pirates found their bats today as they cruised to an 11-5 win over the Padres to salvage the last game of the series.  A 9-run 4th inning capped off the Pirates’ scoring.

The game got off to a rough start as Chris Denorfia led off the game with a homer to put the Padres on top right away.  The Padres scored 3 more runs in the 1st inning, 2 of them coming on an error by the usually-smooth Clint Barmes.  In the top of the 2nd, Chase Headley drove in another run with a groundout, and the Padres led, 5-0 (again).  Erik Bedard settled down after that, and then he hit his first career double in the 3rd inning.  Bedard threw a lot of pitches, lasting just 5 innings, but earned the win anyway.  Just 3 of the runs were earned, and he gave up 5 hits, 4 walks, and struck out 6.  Bedard improved to 7 and 12 with the win.  Chris Resop pitched a perfect inning, and Chad Qualls, Juan Cruz, and Joel Hanrahan followed up with a scoreless inning each to seal the win.

After Bedard’s one-out double in the 3rd, Neil Walker hit a single 2 batters later to score Bedard and put the Pirates on the board.  Then came the 4th inning, in which Padres starter (and former Pirate) Ross Ohlendorf struggled to record an out.  He couldn’t.  A walk, an error, and a single loaded the bases for Michael McKenry.  Ohlendorf walked him to drive in a run.  Clint Barmes came up to bat next, still with the bases loaded, still with no outs, and hit one off the foul pole in left for his first career grand slam.  “I felt like I gave away a couple runs,” Clint said after the game.  “I did give away a couple runs.  It was nice to put a good swing on it and get a couple runs back.”  The grand slam put the Pirates up, 6-5, and they never looked back.  In fact, they scored 4 more runs in the inning on an Andrew McCutchen 2-run double, a Garrett Jones triple, and a Michael McKenry RBI single.  Ohlendorf left the game after following up the grand slam with a walk to Bedard, and lots more damage later, the Padres ended the inning.  Neil Walker led off the 7th inning with his fifth hit of the game, a solo homer to make the score 11 to 5.

The win felt great, especially after coming off a 3-game losing streak.  “This was a huge win for us, especially the way we started off the game,” Clint Barmes said.  “It’s nice to look up there and see we got a win.”

The Pirates open a 4-game series with the Dodgers tomorrow night.  Jeff Karstens (4-2, 3.77 ERA) will face Aaron Harang (7-7, 3.80 ERA).  Today’s win improved the Pirates’ record to 64 and 50 and keeps them 4.5 games behind the Reds, who also won.

“We show up every day and expect to win,” Clint Barmes said.