Early errors doom Pirates
PHILADELPHIA – Three errors and four runs in the first inning marred Jeff Karstens' return to the rotation in the Pirates' series opener against the Phillies Monday at Citizens Bank Park.
The right-hander gave up seven runs, six earned, on 11 hits in five innings in the 8-3 loss, his first game since April 17, when he left after just one inning with right shoulder inflammation.
“They hit some balls soft for hits. I made some bad pitches; they hit those even harder,” Karstens said. “It was just one of those nights. Unfortunately for me, I dug us a pretty deep hole, and every time we scored I wasn't able to put a zero back on the board. That was the biggest defeat I had tonight, not so much the first inning but later in the game when the guys were still battling and playing hard behind me.”
Jose Tabata was 1 for 4 with a home run, Pedro Alvarez was 2 for 4 and Andrew McCutchen was 1 for 4 with an RBI. Phillies' right-hander Joe Blanton (7-6) gave up three runs, two earned, on seven hits and struck out eight.
Karstens' fourth pitch of the game turned into a double to right field by Rollins. Juan Pierre was out on a sacrifice bunt, moving Rollins to third, and little after that was straightforward in the Pirates' first three-error inning since July 4, 2011, against Houston.
Hunter Pence hit a bloop to right field that dropped roughly 10 yards in front of Tabata. He grabbed it off the bounce and threw home but not in time to beat Rollins. Catcher Rod Barajas was injured on the play but remained in for the remainder of the inning. He was replaced by Michael McKenry in the second.
Barajas suffered a bone bruise to his left knee and is day-to-day. He said that X-rays were negative and the knee is stable.
“When (Rollins) slid by, I put my foot out and he caught the bottom of my foot,” Barajas said. “I'm assuming he caught the bottom of my foot and just pushed the knee back. It was kind of a fluke thing.”
After Rollins made it 1-0, Carlos Ruiz singled to right field. Tabata threw to third base trying to get Pence but pulled Alvarez off the bag. With Ruiz going to second, Alvarez made a throw that was high and sailed into right field, receiving the first error of the inning. Tabata was charged with two more errors and the Phillies had four runs on the board before Karstens struck out Ty Wigginton and Mike Fontenot to end the inning.
“We didn't defend the ball very well in the first inning which kind of complicated things as well,” Hurdle said. “The ‘towards' button was off, meaning towards where we were supposed to throw it. That wasn't working very well. … You're going to play these kinds of games during the season. It wasn't our night.”
Karen Price can be reached at email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.