Big Lead Sports Bar



An embarrassing 13-run fourth inning ended up deciding things rather definitively on Sunday, giving the Arizona Diamondbacks a 15-6 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates and wrapping up a three-game series in which the Buccos yielded a mind-blowing 24 runs in their two losses. The Pirates have been outscored 36-15 since opening the season with two consecutive wins against Los Angeles last week, and have allowed an NL-high 45 runs so far this year.
Much like Friday night, Pirate pitching was again a black hole in this contest, with starter Daniel McCutchen surrendering six hits, nine earned runs, and three home runs in three 1/3 innings. He was "relieved" by Hayden Penn, who allowed four runs in an 1/3 of an inning of work, threw four strikes and 15 balls, and grew his ERA in the young season to 30.86. And the bleeding did not stop after another pitching change, when Jack Taschner gave up a three-run double to Chris Snyder and a home run to D-backs pitcher Edwin Jackson in the same inning. Add it up and you have a 13-run frame, tied for the worst in the storied team history of the Pirates.

In the far-outnumbered "positives" column for the Pirates, Andrew McCutchen broke out of his early slump with a single and game-tying homer, Lastings Milledge had three hits, and Delwyn Young drove in two with a triple in the third. Of course, that was all wiped out by the nightmarish fourth inning, but so go the Pirates. There will be many more days like this, I fear to say.

Next up for the 3-3 Bucs is a three-game set with Freddy Sanchez and the Giants, with the first coming late Monday night. The G-Men are off to a 4-1 start and have surrendered just 17 runs in those five games, which is four more than the Pirates gave up in one inning. In other words, things could get interesting, and not in a good way. Ross Ohlendorf, Paul Maholm, and Charlie Morton will face Barry Zito, Matt Cain, and Jonathan Sanchez over the course of the next three days.

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