After the Pittsburgh Pirates took the opening series 2 games to 1 over the Atlanta Braves, Pittsburgh traveled down south to take on the then 1-2 Florida Marlins. Xavier Nady continues to take control of the Pirates, still leading the team in HR (3), RBI's (9), runs (6), and OPS (1.218). Here is a game-by-game breakdown of the series.
Game 1 (April 4th):
Pirates 4, Marlins 5
Pittsburgh took an early 3-0 lead in the top half of the 2nd inning, thanks to a 2-run single hit by utility man, Freddy Gomez. Later in the inning, centerfielder, Nate McLouth, hit an RBI double, scoring Gomez. This was just the begining of a low-scoring, back and forth game, though. In the bottom of the 2nd inning, Florida's SP, Scott Olsen hit Josh Willingham in with a single to right. One inning later Willingham hit a 2-R HR, scoring Mike Jacobs, and himself to knot the game at 3. But, Pittsburgh's promising catcher, Ryan Doumit, hit a solo HR to left in the top of the fourth to take the lead back. Not one, but TWO throwing errors on the Pirates in the bottom of the fourth allowed Jacobs to score his second run of the game, and tie the game back up. After four long, scoreless innings, it was Jacobs again, who saved the day for the Marlins, hitting a solo HR to right in the bottom of the ninth off reliever Franquelis Osoria to win the game, 5-4. Osoria (1-1) got the loss, and Florida RP, Kevin Gregg earned his first win of the season, and is now 1-0.
Game 2 (April 5th):
Pirates 3, Marlins 7
Maholm struggled against Florida hitters on Saturday, giving up 5 ER in just 5 IP, allowing Hanley Ramirez to hit his first HR of the season in the bottom of the first inning. Ronny Paulino grounded out to third in the fourth inning, but Jason Bay was able to score on the play to tie the game at 1. Mike Jacobs homered again, hitting in 3 guys in the 5th, jeopardizing Maholm's outing in the process. Jacobs' HR broke them game wide open, giving Florida a 5-1 lead. The Pirates managed two more runs on a Gomez 2-RBI single in the 6th, but Florida went on to score 2 more runs in the bottom half of the inning, and never looked back, 7-3 was the final score. The starter, Hendrickson, picked up the win, and Maholm, of course, got the loss. This win for Florida gave them the series, and brought them over .500 (3-2).
Game 3 (April 6th):
Pirates 9, Marlins 2
Pittsburgh came right out on Sunday looking for a win. Snell had a strong second outing, pitching 6 innings, and giving up just 1 ER (2 runs total), and struck out 10 batters. VandenHurk, on the other hand, pitched just 2.1 innings, giving up 4 ER, and walking 2 (and even hit a batter). Xavier Nady hit one out for the 3rd time this season in the 8th inning to cap off a 9-run scoring rampage which started in the 3rd inning. Nate McLouth went 3 for 5, hitting in 2, while scoring 3 times on his own. McLouth played left field, allowing Jason Bay to take the day off to relax, and get back into his groove. Luis Rivas made his 3rd start at SS, replacing Freddy Sanchez in the lineup. Rivas went 3 for 6, with an RBI, and a run scored. Snell was awarded with his first win, and VandenHurk was hit with the loss for Florida.
Cubs @ Pirates
The Pirates are currently playing the Chicago Cubs (game started at 1:35), the Pirates are making their 2008 home debut in Pittsburgh. In the top of the 5th inning, the Cubs are leading 7-5.
News: Pittsburgh placed SS, Jack Wilson, on the 15-day DL yesterday. Wilson suffered a left calf strain in the 7th inning of Thursday's game at Atlanta.