Pirates-White Sox: Wilson Homers In The Clutch; Pirates Rack Up 16 Hits
CHICAGO, May 24—The Pirate bats woke out of the slumber as they were able to put together a 16-hit performance but still only got four runs as they stranded 10 runners on base.
Erik Hinske and Craig Morgan each had doubles, while Hinske, alsong wth Jack Wilson also had solo homers in the 4-3 win. The team was two for four with runners in scoring position.
With two consecutive shutouts the Pirates seemed in a hurrty to try to erase those zeroes, and came up swinging. Morgan and Delwyn Young flied out and struck out on short pitch counts. Batting third, Freddy Sanchez singled a slapper to right. Craig Monroe got a fastball up and in singling on a soft blooper to right, moving the runner to third.
Sanchez was two for five in the game, appearing to break out of his slump. "I've never struck out like this in my life," Sanchez said before the game.
Erik Hinske was starting at first with Adam LaRoche getting the day off. Hinske ripped it down the right field line. The ball rolled under the padding down the edge of the field foul territory and right fielder Brian Anderson played possum claiming he could not find the ball. The ground rule double was in effect and only Sanchez would score, leaving Monroe on third. Andy LaRoche, hitting .303 with runners in scoring position, struck out to end the inning.
In the bottom of the second inning Carlos Quentin hit a two-out double. On the next batter Jeff Karstens fell behind the batter and Anderson was able to wait for his pitches. Anderson homered crushing a beautiful pitch right down the middle, White Sox 2-1. It was Andreson's first homer on the season.
In the sixth Anderson bunted himeself aboard with one out. Chris Getz hit a grounder and Anderson advanced to second. Josh Fields followed single to center, scoring Anderson, Sox 3-1.
Despite getting hits in every inning, easily out hitting the Sox, the Pirates were unable to get the runs around.
In the eighth Octavio Dotel started to walk of the field with two outs thinking there were three. Perhaps he wishes he could have as Hinske hit a solo homer to right, his first on the year, bringing the Pirates to within one, 3-2.
The White Sox called on ace closer Bobby Jenks with a perfect 0.00 ERA in save situations this year, and 10 saves in 10 tries and it should have been a lock for the Sox.
However, In the top of the ninth, with two outs and on the brink of being swept, Jack Wilson found the magic in the bat. Wilson got a fastball over the plate and Bobby Jenks gave up the his first run in relief all year. The clutch solo homer to left center was Wilson's first homer on the season.
Morgan jumped on the stunned reliever hitting a double to deep right. Young then singled to left, scoring Morgan and putting the Pirates up, 4-3. It was Young's first hit on the night and number 18 for the Bucs.
In the bottom of the ninth Matt Capps came on to get the save. He missed badly on his first pitch but then got under control quickly. Capps was throwing mid 90s fastballs and sliders, and mixing in off speed pitches. 'Cappy' struck out the side to secure the win.
The Pirates finished with four runs on 16 hits. The Sox got three runs on seven hits.
Brian Anderson who had been in a 3-for-23 slump, contributed well for the White Sox.
The Pirates stay in town, heading to the north side of Chicago to play the Cubs. Paul Maholm (3-1, 3,30 ERA) will be on the mound against Ryan Dempster (3-3, 4.40 ERA).
Maholm has three quality starts in his last four appearances.
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