Pirates-Nationals: Pittsburgh Pounds the Relievers; Ross Detwiler Pitches Ably
WASHINGTON D.C., May 18—Jack Wilson's three runs and two RBI, along with Craig Monroe's three-run blast, led the Pirates in their second straight scoring fest as they pounded the Nationals 12-7 Monday night. They would need it as their pitching was not quite up to par.
Ross Ohlendorf had been one of the bright spots in the Pirates rotation this year. Despite a couple of shaky performances he had performed well overall.
Ohlendorf has been throwing a few more change-ups and sliders to compliment his sinker, and the result has been positive. But on this night, he was having problems throwing strikes. He gave up five runs on six hits while walking three over five innings.
Pittsburgh was going against another Ross, in former first round draft pick Ross Detwiler, who was just called up from AA for his first major league start. In the first inning, Christian Guzman had two errors to put two runners aboard. However, the young pitcher was able to get out of the inning without any damage to the scoreboard.
With one out in the third, Freddy Sanchez lined a single into center and then went to second on what could have been scored a stolen base, but instead was the Nationals' third error of the game.
Nate McLouth was then beaned with a change-up on the right elbow. Pirates fans around the world took a collective deep breath as McLouth cringed in pain as the Bucs have been hit hard by injuries this year.
After the delay for the trainer to check out McLouth, Monroe popped a three-run shot just over the wall and out of the reach of Willie Harris in center field. Harris seemed to not see the wall, but it did not look like he could have caught it anyhow. Adam LaRoche struck out and Diaz hit a line drive right at the pitcher to end the inning, Pirates 3-0.
Trouble arrived for Ohlendorf in the fifth inning. Harris got things started for the Nats by doubling to right field. An out later, Josh Bard doubled Harris home. Guzman then walked, before Nick Johnson hit a three-run rocket in to the right field upper deck, putting the Nationals up for the first time.
Ryan Zimmerman followed with a solo shot to center before Adam Dunn popped out to third; Nationals 5-3.
With none out in the sixth inning, Adam LaRoche walked and then went to second on a wild pitch. Then reliever Garrett Mock hit Robinzon Diaz to put runners on first and second. Andy LaRoche sacrificed the runners up one base and Jack Wilson doubled down the left field line to score the two runners and tie the game at five apiece.
Jesus Calome came on in relief but the Pirates continued their hitting barrage. Moss doubled to center, scoring Wilson. Delwyn Young, hitting lead-off in the game while Nyjer Morgan rests his hamstring, singled to center scoring Moss.
Next, after Freddy Sanchez flied out to right, Nate McLouth doubled to right to score the speedy Young from first, and McLouth ended up on third on second baseman Anderson Hernandez's throwing error. Monroe flied out to end the inning, Pirates 8-5.
Wilson, four-for-four on the night, led off the top of the top of the eighth with a triple off the left center field wall, missing a home run by just a foot. Wilson (.254), who has struggled at the plate this year, got his second four-hit-game of the year. Young would get his second RBI of the game singling Wilson home, making it 9-5.
In the bottom of the eighth John Grabow got into a bit of trouble. With Austin Kearns on first and one out, Josh Bard doubled to left scoring a run, Pirates 9-6.
The Pirates came back in the top of the ninth with an appetite for runs. With one out Adam LaRoche walked. LaRoche then moved to second on a wild pitch and then to third on a ground out right at the pitcher again by Diaz.
Andy LaRoche then singled to left-center, scoring his brother from third. Wilson came up looking for his fifth hit of the game, but was walked. Ramon Vazquez then hit a hard double to right, scoring LaRoche and Wilson, Pirates 12-6.
In the bottom of the ninth the Nats got another run on a walk and a sacrifice.
The Pirates finished with 12 runs on 12 hits. The Nationals had seven runs on 11 hits and four errors, a category in which they lead the league. The Bucs had five doubles, a triple, and a home run in the game.
Trivia: According to the Pirates Radio Network announcers this was the first game in major league history where two starting pitchers with the name Ross faced each other in the same game.
Detwiler's much-anticipated debut on the mound was a good one, as he struck out six and walked none, giving up two earned runs over five innings.
The Pirates will probably need just as much run production tomorrow as Jeff Karstens (1-2, 5.06 ERA) will go up against Shairon Martis (5-0, 4.10 ERA). Nyjer Morgan, the only Pirate to have faced Martis, is expected to be back in the lineup for tomorrow's game.
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