The Pittsburgh Pirates traveled cross-country sporting Hawaiian shirts after clinching their 19th consecutive losing season on a 3-6 homestand. The team showed no signs of any jet lag, and actually looked quite fresh as they eliminated the Dodgers from the NL West race. The power of the islands must have done some magical things as Pirates starter Ross Ohlendorf crushed a three-run bomb off Dana Eveland.
Eveland, the ex-Bucco, had given up only one run in 15 innings over his two previous starts for L.A., but he was unable to match his one run over eight innings effort back on the first of September.
Ohlendorf not only provided the blast over the Muscle Milk sign in right field, he looked sharp against the Dodgers, who scored their runs on a first-inning ground rule double by Justin Sellers that plated Dee Gordon, and a fifth inning solo-homer by Russ Mitchell.
Ohlendorf showed some increased velocity in the 92-93mph, which appeared to help his breaking ball. He went seven innings, allowed just four hits, struckout six and didn’t walk a batter.
Ryan Doumit had two more hits, and his smart base-running allowed the Pirates to add an additional run. Coach Ryan Ludwick not only added two hits and a walk, but was given credit by Ohlendorf for helping him with his hitting.
In the post game interview with Lacee Collins, Ross the Boss said that Ludwick told him to try and go the other way more. Obviously, Ross is a great listener.
Evan Meek tried to close it out in the bottom of the ninth by getting two quick outs via a lineout and a groundout. An opposite field hit was followed by a walk, and then a visit from pitching coach Ray Searage. Meek, who sat around 91-92mph on the gun, walked the bases full to provide some drama in the bottom of the ninth.
Thankfully, Joel Hanrahan saved the game by getting Aaron Miles to flyout which got Ross Ohlendorf his first road victory in two years.
It was great to hear Ohlendorf say Ryan Ludwick really wanted him to hit the ball out of the infield. Hell, maybe this Hurdle Hawaiian shirt thing helped build some teamwork after all, because it was great to see Ohlendorf smile. It’s been a long time.
Jeff Locke will start tonight. James McDonald and Brad Lincoln will close out the series on Sunday.