Pirates dodge trouble, get win

Rob Biertempfel
| Wednesday, June 20, 2007

SEATTLE - Tom Gorzelanny pushed himself to the limit Tuesday, which helped the Pirates' patchwork bullpen hold on for a 5-3 victory against the Seattle Mariners.

"I had to battle, get outs, do whatever I could to stay in the game," Gorzelanny said.

In seven innings, Gorzelanny yielded two runs on eight hits and struck out six. He threw 123 pitches, his highest pitch count of the season.

"I had absolutely zero left," Gorzelanny said. "The tank was on empty."

The Pirates were without closer Matt Capps, who began serving a three-game suspension. Manager Jim Tracy used five relievers -- Masumi Kuwata got a huge out to end the eighth inning, Damaso Marte started the ninth and Shawn Chacon ended it for his first save since Sept. 22, 2004.

"It was a little bit of a flashback there," Chacon said. "It was fun."

It was Gorzelanny's first victory since May 29. In his past seven starts, the left-hander has gotten three no-decisions and two losses and posted an ERA of 3.77.

Gorzelanny (7-4) struggled a bit early in last night's game. He threw 20 balls and 23 strikes through two innings, and gave up a run in the second inning after hitting the leadoff batter.

Leadoff batters gave Gorzelanny trouble most of the night, also reaching base in the third, fifth, sixth and seventh innings. Yet, only two of them scored.

Reliever Jonah Bayliss served up a solo homer to Richie Sexson, which pulled the Mariners within two runs in the eighth. Then, with runners at first and second and two outs, Kuwata got pinch-hitter Ben Broussard to ground out.

"We held on," Pirates manager Jim Tracy said. "We bent a little bit, but we held on."

The Pirates came away with just single runs after loading the bases in the first, sixth and seventh innings. Instead of lashing game-breaking hits, they settled for RBI groundouts.

Some wildness by right-hander Miguel Batista (7-6) helped the Pirates take a 2-0 lead in the first inning.

First baseman Richie Sexson misplayed Nate McLouth's grounder, and McLouth went to second on the error. With two outs, Adam LaRoche stroked an RBI single to right field.

Jason Bay kept it going with a single -- much to the delight of the hundred of so family and friends of Bay's, who were clustered in a section of seats above the left field wall.

Xavier Nady fell behind 0-2, yet worked a walk to load the bases.

Batista, seemingly a little flustered, threw four straight balls to Ryan Doumit. The walk forced in LaRoche.

The Mariners got a run back in the second.

Kenji Johjima was hit by a pitch, and went to second on Adrian Beltre's single. With two outs, Ichiro Suzuki lined an RBI single to right.

Jose Bautista scored a run in the fifth and drove in another in the sixth.

Bautista singled off Batista, stole second and scored on Freddy Sanchez's double.

With the bases loaded and one out in the sixth, righty Sean Green replaced Batista. Bautista grounded to third, scoring Nady to make it 4-1.

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