Looking to avoid being swept by an opponent for the second time this season, the Pittsburgh Pirates turned to Erik Bedard to cool down the hot bats of the St. Louis Cardinals this afternoon.
Things didn’t start off well for the lefty, as he gave up two runs in the first and needed 55 pitches to get through the first two innings.
After that, though, Bedard flipped a switch. He would last just five innings but didn’t allow another run and struck out 11 batters in the end, including an astounding seven in a row at one point – a Pirates record.
He threw 104 pitches on the day and is now 2-4 with a 2.65 ERA. He’s certainly been the rotation’s best pitcher to this point, with 20 strikeouts in his last two outings. He also hasn’t allowed more than two runs in any of his six starts this season.
After Bedard, Jared Hughes, Juan Cruz, Jason Grilli and Joel Hanrahan each pitched one inning. Each of them struck out at least one batter and Hanrahan is the only one who allowed a run. In the end, the Pirates pitchers had 17 strikeouts, which tied another team record.
The Bucs put up six runs today, thanks to another bomb by white-hot Pedro Alvarez. Pedro has collected hits in his last six games, eight of his last nine games, nine of his last 11 games and in 10 of his last 13. He also has five home runs in his last nine games.
He’s now second in the NL in home runs, behind only the great Matt Kemp.
El Toro es en fuego.
Andrew McCutchen left today’s game in the 4th inning due to a stomach virus after he was given yesterday off. Hopefully that goes away soon.
Side note: One great thing about baseball is that – unlike hockey – teams rarely lie about injuries. McCutchen honestly probably just has the stomach flu. A “stomach virus” in hockey can mean anything from a twisted ankle to a concussion.
Here’s how the rest of the offense looked:
Jose Tabata also stole a base in the fourth inning. The right fielder has an eight-game hit streak going.
The Pirates open their home series with the Cincinnati Reds tomorrow evening.
Follow Troy on Twitter @TroyPfaff for more Pittsburgh Pirates content