Lack of offense comes back to haunt the Phils as they lose to the Pirates on an extra-innings walk-off infield single, losing 2-1.
The Phils took the lead in the first as, with two men on, and with one man out, Hunter Pence hits an RBI infield single to the shortstop, scoring in Shane Victorino, who had earlier singled, moved up to second base on Placido Polanco’s single, then stopped at third on Jimmy Rollins’ sacrifice bunt, 4-3, giving the Phils a 1-0 lead, while sending Polanco, who had earlier singled, then moved up to second base on Rollins’ sacrifice bunt, to third. The Pirates would tie the game up at one-all in the sixth as, with runners on the corners, and with two men out, Yamaico Navarro, who had earlier walked, would stop at second base on Jose Tabata’s single, then stopped at third on Alex Presley’s force out, 4-6, wiping out Tabata at second base for the inning’s second out, would score on Cliff Lee’s wild pitch, crossing the plate after Lee misses Carlos Ruiz throw back to him as he tried to cover home plate, while Presley, who was safe on the force out, would move up to second base. The game then became a duel between both teams’ bullpens until the bottom of the tenth as, with runners on the corners, and with two men out, Presley hits an RBI infield single, knocking in Michael McKenry, who was pinch running for Rod Barajas, who had earlier doubled, then moved up to third base on Clint Barmes’ sacrifice bunt, 5-4, as Presley beat out Rollins’ throw to first, giving the Pirates a 2-1 walk-off win.
Cliff Lee got a no-decision as he pitched six innings, giving up a run on two hits, two walks and a costly wild pitch, while striking out four batters. Kyle Kendrick, Chad Qualls, Michael Stutes and Antonio Bastardo combined f0r three scoreless innings, giving up two hits (Qualls (1), Stutes (1)) and a walk (Bastardo) between them. Joe Blanton (0-1, 13.50) took the lost as he went two-thirds of an inning, giving up a run on two hits and a hit batter. Jeff Karstens also received a no-decision as he went six innings, giving up a run on five hits and a walk, while striking out two. Tony Watson, Jason Grilli and Joel Hanrahan combined for three scoreless innings, giving up just two walks (Hanrahan), while striking out three (Grilli (1), Hanrahan (2)) between them. Juan Cruz (1-0, 0.00) got the win as he pitched a scoreless inning, giving up two hits, while striking out a batter.
The Phils had seven hits in the game with Shane Victorino and Placido Polanco both leading the team with two hits apiece, all singles. Jimmy Rollins, Hunter Pence and Carlos Ruiz had the other three Phils’ hits, all singles. The Phils also had three walks and a stolen base (Pence) in the game.
The Phils (1-1, 3 NL East) will conclude their three-game series with the Pirates (1-1, T-2 NL Central) with an afternoon game tomorrow afternoon at PNC Park. The game is to start at 1:05 pm EDT. The Phils will send to the mound Vance Worley (0-0, -.–), who is coming off a rookie season in which he ended up with a record of 11-3, with a 3.01 ERA and a WHIP of 1.23, as he appeared in 25 games, 21 of which were starts, as he pitched a total of 131.2 innings, striking out 119 batters, while walking only 50. Worley will be trying to help the Phils leave Pittsburgh with a series win, while out to prove that the previous season was not a fluke. The Pirates will counter with James McDonald (0-0, -.–), who last season had a record of 9-9 with a 4.21 ERA, as he started in 31 games, totaling 171 innings pitched, as he struck out 142 batters, while walking 78. He will be trying to give the Pirates the series win. The Phils will be out to win the series while trying to see if they can establish some kind of offense before coming back to Philly for their home opener.