Pirates fans have more than likely already forgotten about Tuesday night’s embarrassing loss to the Philadelphia Phillies after the Buccos recorded 14 hits in a wild 11-7 win at Citizens Bank Park. Neil Walker went 3-for-4 at the plate to lead the offense while Michael McKenry, Casey McGehee and Andrew McCutchen all posted homeruns on the night.
Philly’s Chase Utley came back from an injury to join the lineup for the first time this season and also smacked a homer on his first at-bat.
A quiet Pirates’ offense didn’t look promising to start the game, especially when Philadelphia came out swinging in the bottom of the first. Pittsburgh starter James McDonald walked leadoff batter Jimmy Rollins, but he was thrown out at second on a force. Juan Pierre attempted to steal second but was thrown out by McKenry from behind the plate.
With two outs and nobody on, Utley sent one over the right center field fence to give the Phillies an early 1-0 lead. Carlos Ruiz followed suit, homering over the left center field fence, upping the tally to 3-0.
The Pirates were quick to answer in the top of the second. McGehee walked to start off the inning, but was caught trying to steal second. Walker also took first on four balls and advanced to second when Jose Tabata singled to Pierre in left. With two on and one out, McKenry homered over the left field fence, giving the Pirates a 3-2 lead.
McGehee struck in the top of the fourth with a leadoff homer to center field to up the score to 4-2. Walker doubled to center and made it safely to third when Pedro Alvarez grounded out to Utley at second. After Philadelphia pitcher Joe Savery walked McKenry to put two on with two out, McDonald singled to left, driving in Walker and advancing McKenry to third, making the score 5-2.
In the fifth, Drew Sutton walked to start of the inning and McCutchen singled on a sharp line drive to put two on with no outs. McGehee flew out to Hunter Pence in right, but Walker followed with a single to left, bringing in Sutton and leaving McCutchen on third. Tabata came up with a single to center, driving in McCutchen and moving Walker to third. The offense didn’t end there as McKenry reached safely at first and Walker made it safely home to put the Buccos up 8-2.
Philadelphia started to threaten in the bottom of the sixth when Utley singled but was called out at second on a force after a grounder to Harrison at short by Ruiz. With two outs and a man on, Pence hit a hard single to Sutton in left, bringing Ruiz in all the way from first. Shane Victorino followed with another single to left, scoring Pence and cutting Philly’s deficit in half with a tally of 8-4.
The Phillies continued their offensive attack in the seventh when Hector Luna reached safely on an error by Alvarez at third. Rollins then tripled to deep center, driving in Luna with Philadelphia’s fifth run on the night. Pierre singled to Sutton to bring in Pence and moved to third on an Utley hit to right field. Ruiz singled to Tabata in right to score Pierre and make the score 8-7.
With Philly catching up, the Pirates were able to create more breathing room for themselves in the eighth when Alex Presley walked to start off the inning and Clint Barmes advanced him to second on a groundout to third. Sutton came up big with a double to center to bring in Presley and the Bucco’s ninth run. With Sutton on second, McCutchen pounded a two-run homer to right field to give Pittsburgh an 11-7 cushion and an eventual win.