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Pirates fall to Phillies 8-3

Jeff Karstens got rocked in his return to the mound, giving up 11 hits and 7 runs over five innings as the Pirates fell to the Phillies 8-3 in Philadelphia. Jose Tabata homered and Pedro Alvarez and Mike McKenry each had two hits for Pittsburgh.

The Pirates gave up 12 hits and committed four errors in a sloppy 8-3 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies in the city of brotherly love. Philly’s Carlos Ruiz went 3-for-5 on the night while Mike McKenry and Pedro Alvarez each went 2-for-4 for Pittsburgh. .

Philadelphia wasted no time in getting the bats going. Leadoff batter Jimmy Rollins doubled to start off the bottom of the first inning and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt from Juan Pierre to Karstens. Hunter Pence then singled for the Phillies on a soft fly to Tabata in right to bring in Rollins and make the score 1-0.

Ruiz kept the offense going with a single, bringing in Pence while reaching third on a throwing error. With the score now 2-0, Shane Victorino singled to center, driving in Ruiz and upping Philadelphia’s lead to 3-0.

With still only one out, Placido Polanco singled and Victorino crossed the plate, giving the Phillies a 4-0 lead. Polanco took second on a throwing error by Tabata. Karstens took care of Ty Wigginton and Mike Fontenot to end the first inning.

After a quiet second inning from both sides of the state, the Pirates answered in the third with a solo homerun by Tabata over the right center field fence, putting the Buccos on the board, 4-1. However, the Phillies got one back in the bottom of the inning after Ruiz singled, stole second and advanced to third a ground out by Vicotorino. Polanco drove in Ruiz on a single to center.

The Pirates continued to threaten in the fourth with a leadoff double from Neil Walker to Pierre in left. Alvarez went down swinging and McKenry was called out on strikes, but Clint Barmes stepped up to the plate and singled on a grounder to Pence in right, driving in Walker and taking second on the throw home to cut Philadelphia’s lead in half with a score of 4-2.

The Phillies continued to produce in the bottom of the fourth with a two-run homer by Rollins with Mike Fontenot on base, increasing their lead once again and making the score 6-2. Andrew McCutchen answered in the top of the fifth with an RBI single to center.

With the score still at 6-3 going into the seventh, the Phillies added another tally. With no outs and the bases loaded, Pittsburgh relief pitcher Doug Slaten walked Wigginton to bring in Ruiz while moving Victorino to third and Polanco to second. After giving up three straight walks, Slaten was able to retire the next three batters to end Philly’s inning.

The Pirates found themselves caught in a double play in the eighth inning when Walker grounded to Michael Martinez at second with Garret Jones on first and no outs. Alvarez attempted to reach first safely after a dropped third strike by Philadelphia catcher Ruiz, but was out on the throw down the line to the bag. A three-up-three-down eighth frame for Philly ended their offense for the night. The same went for Pittsburgh in the top of the ninth as McKenry, Barmes, and Casey McGehee all grounded out to end the game.

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