|© MLB Advanced Media, L.P. All rights reserved.|
GCL Pirates lose no-no, split twinbill07/26/2013 6:27 PM ET
By Sam Dykstra / MiLB.com
What should have been a great day for the Pirates' Gulf Coast League affiliate ended up being, pretty much by definition, only so-so.
The Bucs no-hit the GCL Blue Jays for six innings Friday afternoon in the first game of a schedule doubleheader, only to lose, 1-0. They took another no-no into the sixth inning of Game 2 and still needed extras before prevailing, 2-1, in the ninth.
Here's how the odd series of events went down.
Game 1 starter Blake Taylor -- Pittsburgh's second-round pick (51st overall) in this year's Draft -- struck out two and allowed just one walk in three innings to get the ball rolling.
Jerry Mulderig replaced him in the fourth and issued a free pass to Kenny Wilson, the first batter he saw. Wilson advanced to second on Mulderig's errant pickoff throw, moved to third on Lance Zawadzki's groundout to first and scored on Franklin Barreto's groundout to third. Oderman Rocha pitched a perfect final two frames to get the Pirates through six hitless innings.
There was one problem, though. The offense hadn't held up its part of the bargain with only three hits and no runs to its name.
Blue Jays starter Chris Rowley (four innings), Clinton Hollon (two innings) and Phil Kish (one inning) combined to blank the Pirates. With the score at 1-0 in favor of the home Jays, there was no need to play the bottom of the seventh, thus preserving the Bucs' no-hitter and also their loss.
The streak of no-hit frames continued into Game 2 when Cesilio Pimentel kept the zeros rolling with four hitless frames of his own. Meanwhile, the Pirates produced their first run of the day in the second when Enyel Vallejo walked with the bases loaded.
Reliever Kirk Singer pitched a perfect fifth, and Cameron Griffin followed that up by retiring the first two batters he faced in the sixth before Blue Jays second baseman Will Dupont singled to left to end a streak of 11 2/3 consecutive hitless innings. An inning later, Gabriel Cenas' sacrifice fly tied the game at 1-1 in what could have been the final inning of the day.
Nevertheless, Vallejo played the hero again in the ninth (aka second extra inning) with a leadoff homer off Jays reliever Kamakani Usui. Cristian Santiago, who was credited with a blown save, also got the win with a scoreless ninth.
Although he did not factor into the scoring, Pirates top pick Austin Meadows was 3-for-6 on the day to raise his GCL average to .286 through 16 games.