The Pirates fell today to the Twins 5-1. The Pirates scored their lone run in the ninth inning, but for eight innings the offense, was well offensive. With the division glaringly up for grabs as all teams continue to struggle, the Pirates aren’t gaining ground.
Starting pitcher Zach Duke again failed to get the run support as he suffered his fifth loss of the year to go with seven victories. His ERA is now 3.18.
Nick Blackburn (6-2) fired a six-hitter at the Bucs, allowing the Twins to get back to .500 on the season. Blackburn threw his first complete game of his career and forced the Pirates into 17 groundball outs. The Twins are 23-13 at the Metrodome.
Zach Duke allowed nine baserunners in his six innings of work and was charged with three runs. He wasn’t spectacular, but pitched well enough to allow his team to win the game.
The Pirates offense had the switch turned off once again. The Bucs avoided being shutout for the eighth time when Adam LaRoche had a two out RBI single in the ninth.
Nyjer Morgan is mired in a slump. He is 20-for-107 in the past month. Somehow he is still penciled in the two spot in the batting order. Morgan grounded into a double play after his teammates had back to back singles in the third inning.
Morgan’s average has plummeted since he was moved into the two spot in the lineup. He is 10-for-49 (.204) in the 12 games he has batted second. He was 52-for-189 while leading off. With McCutchen firmly planted in the leadoff spot, it seems evident Morgan will be moving in down the order.
JHammer came into the game hitting safely in six of his last seven games. He went o-for-3 in Minnesota yesterday and grounded into a double play.