| Sports

Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Diamondbacks score past struggling Pirates

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

PHOENIX — Pirates manager Clint Hurdle went into Monday night's game against the Arizona Diamondbacks believing his offensively challenged club finally had a chance to break out. Hurdle expected big things to happen against Joe Saunders, a competent, but hardly dominant, left-hander.

Hurdle was wrong.

The Pirates once again went down with barely a whimper, losing, 5-1, to the Diamondbacks.

The Pirates managed six hits — five singles and a harmless, two-out double.

"I thought we'd be able to throw more at (Saunders)," Hurdle said. "But we didn't. We're still lacking that big hit and the ability to grind out some at-bats. We're getting pitches to hit, (but) we're mis-hitting them."

According to Elias, the Pirates are the first team since the 1988 Texas Rangers to go through their first 10 games of the season without either scoring or allowing more than five runs in any game.

It's the first time a National League team has done it since 1965, when the Pirates went 16 games without either scoring or allowing five runs in a game.

The Pirates are 1-6 with two games left on their first road trip of the season. They've been held to either one or no runs in four of the seven games.

The Pirates went into the game ranked last in the National League in team batting average (.188), on-base percentage (.235), runs scored (18) and total bases (77).

"Chase Field is one of the greatest places in the big leagues to hit," Hurdle said. "The background is incredible. It's hitter-friendly, with the gaps. I'm looking forward to us being in a place that's more comfortable (to hit)."

With two outs in the first inning, Andrew McCutchen singled and stole second base. Casey McGehee reached on an infield single. Neil Walker lined a single into center field, scoring McCutchen.

After that, the Pirates never again threatened against Saunders (1-0). The lefty worked seven innings and gave up six hits, walked two and struck out five.

The Diamondbacks tied the game in the bottom of the inning on Aaron Hill's home run to left field. It was the first homer left-hander Erik Bedard (0-3) has served up this year.

Bedard allowed three hits in five innings and struggled with his control throughout the game. Of his 97 pitches, 47 were balls.

Bedard didn't elaborate when asked what caused his control problems.

"I just didn't throw strikes," Bedard said. "I tried to limit the damage and keep the team in the game."

From the second to the fourth innings, Bedard faced three-ball counts against 10 of 12 batters. Half of them got on base via two singles and four walks. Despite all that traffic, the Diamondbacks scored just one run.




Show commenting policy

Most-Read Pirates

  1. Pirates’ McCutchen might be National League’s most cost-effective star
  2. Pirates notebook: Similarity found in Alvarez throwing errors
  3. Biertempfel: Teams try to get by without their stars
  4. Stats Corner: Morton finally taming lefty batters
  5. McCutchen homers twice in Pirates’ extra-inning win
  6. Sunday’s scouting report: Pirates at Reds
  7. Pirates notebook: Bucs to target pitching on trade market
  8. Kovacevic: Who’s better than Cutch?
  9. For Pirates’ Taillon, ‘the progress is neat to follow’
  10. Report links Pirates first baseman Sanchez to PEDs while in college
  11. Pirates shortstop Barmes out 4-6 weeks with groin strain
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.