for this game

Pirates win sixth in a row, shut out Braves

May 12, 2008 - 9:15 PM By Chris Adamski PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

PITTSBURGH (Ticker) -- Things are going so well for the Pittsburgh Pirates that even when they do things they shouldn't they still find a way to win.

Pittsburgh committed four errors and starting pitcher Zach Duke allowed 10 baserunners in six innings, yet it managed to win its sixth game in a row, 5-0, over the Atlanta Braves in the first game of a doubleheader Monday.

Freddy Sanchez delivered a three-run double in the fifth inning and Adam LaRoche added a two-run homer in the eighth to account for the offense for the Pirates, who were limited to five hits, but did draw six walks.

Damaso Marte struck out three in two innings and Sean Burnett went the ninth as Pittsburgh recorded its second shutout of the season.

"There's just that confidence we have right now that we trust each other is going to get the job done," Duke said. "It's a good environment right now. We've played some good baseball lately. It's fun to watch."

The game remained scoreless until the fifth, when Sanchez delivered a bases-clearing double down the right-field line off Braves starter Jair Jurrjens with two outs. He drove in Jason Michaels, LaRoche and Brian Bixler, who had walked, singled and been hit by a pitch, respectively.

"I thought it was a good pitch, but he hit it for a double and it cost us the game," Jurrjens said.

"That's the difference-maker in the game, right there," Duke said. "He's 'Steady Freddy', that's what he does. In those situations, that's the guy we want up there."

It was Sanchez's sixth game since being moved to the leadoff spot last week. He is batting 10-for-24 (.417) with eight RBI and four runs scored from the top of the order.

"He's the kind of hitter that comes up with big hits for us," Pirates manager John Russell said. "It doesn't really matter where Freddy hits in the lineup; he'll help your ballclub."

LaRoche's blast, his fourth of the season and third in his past six games, was to right-center in the eighth, scoring Doumit. LaRoche went 2-for-3 with a walk and two runs and Doumit added two hits and a base on balls.

After hitting .163 in April, LaRoche has hit safely in six of his past eight games.

"(LaRoche) has been swinging the bat a lot better lately," Russell said. "He's a big part of our offense. He's seeing the ball much better and has a much better approach. We've seen over the last week what Adam can do."

Duke (2-2) turned in his third consecutive solid outing. Though he allowed no runs and struck out three in his six innings, he did permit five hits and five walks. Atlanta had a runner advance to second base during five of his six innings.

He won for the second consecutive start after having gone without a win since last June 12 before working into the eighth in a 12-6 victory over San Francisco on May 6.

"I was able to make the quality pitches when I had to," Duke said. "The pitches had good life on them and were down, that's the key."

"He's been keeping the ball down, using his sinker," Russell said. "He's getting a lot more groundballs, and that's the type of pitcher he is and what he has to do to be successful."

Jurrjens (4-3), who was rumored to be traded to Pittsburgh before ending up being dealt from Detroit to the Braves this offseason, allowed three runs and three hits along with three walks in five innings. He also struck out five.

"I think I did a good job," Jurrjens said. "They didn't hit me so hard; they only got (three) hits on me. Sometimes you've got to have the luck on your side."

The Braves' Chipper Jones went 3-for-4 to raise his average to .410, tops in the major leagues.

Gregor Blanco added two hits and two walks for Atlanta, which lost the first three games of the four-game series after entering Friday with a six-game winning streak.

Atlanta, which left 15 men on base, out-hit Pittsburgh, 8-5. It fell to 4-14 away from Turner Field the majors' worst road mark.

"I have no clue why we've struggled on the road," Jurrjens said. "It's one of those crazy things a team goes through during the season. We play good at home but something on the road just doesn't click with us. I don't know. It's crazy. There's no word to explain how we feel about it. It's just crazy."








  • NL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    ATLANTA 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 8 0
    PITTSBURGH 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 2 x 5 5 4 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: ATL - JAIR JURRJENS, JEFF BENNETT (6TH), MANNY ACOSTA (8TH) AND
    CORKY MILLER
    PIT - ZACH DUKE, DAMASO MARTE (7TH), SEAN BURNETT (9TH)
    AND RYAN DOUMIT

    HOME RUNS: A

    May 12 3:09 PM
  • alamowx Ouch

    Braves 0, Pirates 5  Top 9, 0 OutsMay 12 3:07 PM


  • NL
    AT PITTSBURGH - SCORING UPDATE (1ST GAME)
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY ADAM LAROCHE (4) TO RIGHT CENTER WITH 1
    OUT IN THE 8TH OFF MANNY ACOSTA SCORED RYAN DOUMIT.
    CURRENT SCORE: ATLANTA 0, PITTSBURGH 5
    DUE UP FOR PITTSBURGH: D MARTE (.000, 0 HR, 0 RBI)

    Braves 0, Pirates 5  Bot 8, 0 OutsMay 12 2:54 PM


  • NL
    AT PITTSBURGH - SCORING UPDATE (1ST GAME)
    DOUBLE BY FREDDY SANCHEZ SCORED JASON MICHAELS, ADAM
    LAROCHE AND BRIAN BIXLER.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, F SANCHEZ ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ATLANTA 0
    PITTSBURGH 3 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR PITTSBURGH: N MCLOUTH (.310, 0-FOR-2)

    Braves 0, Pirates 3  Bot 5, 0 OutsMay 12 1:51 PM